West Michigan

Youth Soccer Assoc.



How Much Water Should You Drink to Hydrate for a Soccer Match?

Soccer is strenuous and requires a lot of physical stamina, and proper hydration will reduce your risk of injury as well as help you maintain peak fitness levels after the match. You need to consume more water and fluids than normal while playing soccer -- or any other sport -- to make up for lost fluids due to perspiration, helping you stay focused and in peak physical shape.

Water Loss During Exercise

The amount of water you lose during exercise depends on the degree of intensity as well as the weather. If you are playing soccer in hot weather, you will need to consume more fluids. The American Council on Exercise states that one hour of exercise can lead to more than a quart of water being lost. Drink water throughout the match, regardless of whether you feel like you need it or not. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute recommends that you drink enough fluids so that your body weight at the end of any match -- a light training exercise or a more intensive game -- is within 2.2 pounds of your starting body weight.

Stay Hydrated Before, During and After

Proper hydration begins 24 hours before the start of the match. The majority of your intake needs to be from drinks, roughly 80 percent, with the remainder of your fluid intake coming from foods. MedlinePlus recommends a minimum of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day given average temperatures, humidity and physical exercise. The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before the start of the match and 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes of the game. Afterward, drink 8 ounces of fluid.

Fluid Choices

You can hydrate with a variety of fluids -- including tea, juice or soda -- although water is considered optimal. The American Council on Exercise recommends water as the best choice, although drinks that contain electrolytes are recommended if you are engaging in strenuous exercise for a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes. Electrolytes are minerals that are found in your blood and body fluids, and they affect how much water is in your body, as well as your muscle function. Water does not contain electrolytes; drink sports drinks or coconut water, each of which contains electrolytes, to replenish your supply. In general, rehydration is faster when there is some sodium in the drink.

Signs of Dehydration

If you do not stay well-hydrated, you run the risk of dehydration. A study published in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" in 2007 found that even moderate dehydration led to a significant decrease in fitness performance levels as measured after a 45-minute match. When you start feeling thirsty, your body is already mildly dehydrated, which is why you need to drink fluids regularly and not only when you feel thirst. Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth, less urination, dark-colored urine, a headache and muscle cramps. Mild dehydration can often be self-treated by drinking water or a sports drink, as well as sucking on ice cubes, while severe dehydration needs to be treated with professional medical care. Treat dehydration as soon as you recognize the symptoms.

Article from: LIVESTRONG.COM


5 Tips for Staying Hydrated

Water is necessary for optimal performance, whether you are on the field, in the gym or even sitting in class. While water acts as a natural cooling agent for the body, it does so much more: It helps your blood circulate properly, lubricates and cushions your joints, moisturizes your skin, aids in digestion and transport nutrients throughout your body. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking four to eight ounces of water for every fifteen to twenty minutes of exercise as a good starting point.

So here are our 5 key tips for staying hydrated and healthy during training and matches.

1. Early and often

If you know that you are in for a tough workout the next day, or that kickoff is going to be at the hottest part of the day, start paying attention to your water the day before. This way, your body will have enough time to absorb the water before it has to use it. Have you ever tried to drink a ton of water before a workout, then worked as hard as you can? (We have all been there. The results are not pretty.) Space out your water intake.

2. Water is king

For most people, most of the time, water is the best beverage for staying hydrated. If you are bored with water’s taste, try cutting up different fruits (blueberries and apples are great for this) to add flavor without a ton of extra sugar. Sports drinks are fine, but choose them wisely and check your labels; many tend to be loaded with sugar, calories and sodium. Electrolyte replenishment is important, and sports drinks may be a good choice for athletes who have been exercising at a high intensity for long periods of time.

3. Thirst is NOT the best indicator of dehydration

There are no set guidelines for how much water you should be drinking because every athlete is different. It depends on your height, sweat rate, weight, level of activity, the weather conditions (temperature, humidity) and duration of the activity. A simple way to check your hydration is to check your urine (gross, but true). You are looking for consistent colorless or slightly yellow urine here; that is a pretty reliable sign that you’re well-hydrated. During activity though, listen to your body. If you’re exhibiting signs of dehydration (dizziness, stopped sweating, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, heart palpitations, sudden loss of performance) take a knee and have some water.


4. Don’t let the weather fool you.

Even in cold winter months, it is important to keep up your hydrating habits. It is harder to remember to drink water in December than in June, but your body still needs a healthy amount of water to perform at its best; even if you’re not sweating as much as you do in the warmer months.

5. Make it a habit.

Water does NOT do you any good if you’re not drinking it. So we recommend carrying around a reusable bottle and keeping it with you throughout the day.

The benefits? You’ll recover more quickly, have more energy and be able to gear up for your next workout.

Article from:  Soccer.com

Teen Nutrition for Sports

By Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RDN, CSSD

Girl Playing Soccer - Teen Nutrition for Fall Sports

Fall is a great season for stop-and-go sports such as soccer, football and basketball. Your teen athlete needs power for quick, strong moves and endurance for practices and games. But how do you make sure that your active teen gets the necessary nutrients to fuel both? Here are four key tips to follow.

  1. Food is Fuel

    You wouldn't put cheap gas in a quality car so why put unhealthy fats and added sugar in your teen athlete's body? Active teenage boys need 3,000 to 4,000 calories a day, while active girls need 2,200 to 3,000 calories. Choose quality calories from fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy, lean protein and heart-healthy fats. These foods provide the vitamins and minerals needed by athletes.
    • Breakfast is a great time for whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and fruit or whole-grain waffles with peanut butter, banana and fruit juice.
    • Prior to lunch at school, review the cafeteria menus and help your teen choose performance foods instead of fried or fast food. Bean and beef burritos topped with salsa or grilled chicken sandwiches with coleslaw delivers nutrients needed for afternoon practices.
    • For dinner, spaghetti with meat sauce accompanied by a salad and whole-grain Italian bread with olive or canola oil spread plus low-fat milk is the perfect recovery meal.
    • Keep healthy snacks handy – fresh fruit, veggies and dip, low-fat cheese and yogurt, and low-fat microwave popcorn.
  2. Carbs are King

    Carbohydrates are the most important fuel for an athlete. Carbs are stored as fuel inside muscles and athletes need full carbohydrate stores before activity. Carbs are also needed after a workout to get ready for the next day's events. Carbs are the only fuel that can be used for power moves – a slam dunk, a sprint to the goal line, or an overhead smash all need muscle carbohydrates.
    • Eat a light snack before practice (especially if your teen has an early lunch period), such as half of a turkey sandwich or an orange and string cheese, along with 1 to 2 cups of water.
    • After practice or a game, refuel with a sports drink or low-fat chocolate milk, a banana and a handful of trail mix.
  3. Build Muscle with Protein from Foods

    Eat real food and shun expensive protein supplements. Muscles can get all the protein they need from foods:
    • Lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt are quality proteins.
    • Include some protein in every meal to help muscles recover.
  4. Pack Snacks

    Active teens need snacks to boost calories. Here some backpack friendly snacks:
    • Sports drinks or juice boxes
    • Trail mix
    • Peanut butter crackers
    • Granola bars
    • Fig bars