Hydrate: What you need to know to stay safe & playing

You might hear teachers, parents or coaches say 'stay hydrated'. Do you really know what that means?

Hydrate for better football


Pro football club nutritionists that look after the players' diets always remind them to stay hydrated.

This is because you don’t always have to be thirsty to be dehydrated.


WHY HYDRATION WORKS: See the benefits of being hydrated when you play football.


If you don’t drink enough fluids you put yourself at risk of dehydration, this means your performance will drop!

When running around on the pitch you sweat, this affects your ability too and in the summer when the sun is out, you sweat more.

More fluids have to be drunk to replace what you sweat out.


Sweaty work

Sweating happens as the body tries to cool itself down. Sweat produced by sweat glands evaporates [liquid turning to vapour] into the air - this cools the skin down as the heat of your blood being pumped around the body reaches the surface. Pro players can lose up to 2 litres of fluid through sweating during a match. 

By football4football nutrition team



I found that not hydrating properly can affect your game badly
Preston midfielder - Ben Pearson to football4football



How much?


Experts who have studied footballers say you need some fluid (3-7 ounces) every 15 minutes!

The important thing to remember is you need to be drinking before, during and after football to help your body prepare, perform & recover.


Quick tips
  • How much? - Drink between 5 - 7 glasses a day
  • More: Drink more when exercising
  • When: Drink before, during and after playing football
  • Hot: More heat = more sweat = you'll need more fluids




Pro_academy_players_battle_for_the_ball_during_an_FA_youth_cup_game_football4football_trainingMAN'S NOT HOT: It doesn't have to be sunny for you to sweat during a game - keep fluids topped up at all times.



Rain or shine


One important thing you need to know is that it doesn't have to be hot when you play for you to become dehydrated.

Exercise causes your body to heat up - which means you'll sweat, even when it's freezing!

So, if you're playing in any weather, you MUST make sure you still have plenty of fluids.



What to drink?


The most natural and easiest way to hydrate is to drink water, fruit will help with energy levels. Older players may choose to use sports drinks.

Some sports drinks include vitamins and minerals. Glucose (simple carbohydrate) and electrolytes (replace lost minerals) can help you to carry on playing for longer.


players_take_a-drinks_break_during_training_football4football_nutritionTHIRSTY WORK: Hydrate before, during & after training or football matches.


Staying hydrated is the main aim of any footballer. Being able to perform better on the pitch for longer makes you a more valuable member of your team. Drinking regularly makes you more alert and means you won’t be tired as often.



Final Note

The higher you go up in football and train and play against better players, being properly hydrated will be the key in gaining the edge.