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Hydration is important for all athletes. This is true especially during the summer months. The importance of getting enough fluids before and after competition cannot be overstressed.

Hydrating helps regulate body temperature and lubricate joints. It also helps transport nutrients through the body and waste out. The longer and more intensely you play, the more important it is to drink the right kind and amount of fluids.

A player who becomes dehydrated during competition or training is at risk for cramps, dizziness, fatigue and other types of heat illness, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat illness is 100% preventable.

How much fluid should you drink?

Many factors determine how much fluid you should drink. These include how long and intensely you exercise, as well as weather conditions and others. Use these simple methods to estimate adequate hydration.

Monitor the volume and color of your urine. Light-colored urine probably means you are hydrated; dark urine probably means you are dehydrated.

Weigh yourself before and after your activity. Any weight loss during activity is generally from fluid, so try to drink enough to replenish those losses.

Hydration guidelines

It's difficult to make specific fluid recommendations because athletes vary in size, metabolism and sport. Most athletes can use these guidelines as a starting point and modify their individual needs accordingly.

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