Over 50% of our body is made up of water. Water is used to make up bodily fluids, regulate our body temperature and in many other bodily processes required for daily functioning. Not drinking enough fluids can make us tired as well as decrease muscle activity and concentration.
So how much fluid to drink?
Your fluid needs depend on a variety of factors such as age, gender, activity levels and climate. As a rough guide:
- Boys and Girls aged 10-13 years should consume approximately 1.5L/day (approx 6 cups)
- Boys and Girls aged 14-18 years should consume between 1.6-1.9L/day (approx 7-8 cups)
- Women aged 18+ should consume 2.1L/day (approx 8 cups)
- Men aged 18+ should consume 2.6L/day (approx 10 cups)
Our fluid requirements are greater when we exercise due to losing fluids through sweating. We need to sweat in order to cool our bodies down so we can continue performing at our best. The more athletes sweat, the more fluid they must consume to avoid dehydration. High levels of dehydration may increase the risk of heat stress. Therefore we actually need to be aiming to drink more then the above measurements when exercising. This is especially the case in cricket as it is a sport which is played outdoors in the summer months wearing long clothing and protective equipment (which all contribute to overheating).
How to avoid dehydration and improve performance?
- Fluid should be consumed before, during and after activity.
- Aim to drink 400-600ml of fluid no more then two hours before a training session/game.
- During exercise it is recommended participants should drink fluid at regular intervals.
- Post event rehydration can take 24 hours or more, so keep drinking after exercising.
How do I know if I am dehydrated?
As a quick guide, if you are thirsty you are dehydrated! If you don’t have a regular urge to urinate, chances are you need to be consuming more fluids. However you can also check to see if your urine colour is straw coloured. Below is a guide on what colour your urine should be.
– Sports Medicine and Players Handbook Cricket NSW
– Healthy Hydration- Nutrition Australia