Due to the intense heat in some Brazilian host cities, dehydration is a major concern in this year’s World Cup tournament. Already, officials are warning that this will be one of the hottest tournaments on record, and many teams have already prepared to play in the Brazilian jungle heat.
But these World Cup hydration protocols aren’t just for elite athletes. In fact, they have relevance for any athlete. Here are four hydration lessons from the World Cup that every athlete should consider:
1. Acclimation: Teams from milder climates, like England and Japan, began acclimating players weeks ago. Both Japan and England stopped off in the United States to train and play prelim games in Florida’s humid summer heat, during the last month.
It’s necessary to acclimate to the heat before performing intense physical activity, because athletes competing in hotter-than-normal weather tend to sweat more. To combat these increased sweat rates, an athlete should drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink like DripDrop that helps replace fluids and electrolytes.
2. Dehydration Holds You Back: During the 2006 World Cup, British soccer star David Beckham blamed his poor performance on dehydration. (Interesting fact: During its 90-minute matches in 2006, the English team was going through nearly 20 gallons of water.) All it takes is 1-percent dehydration for performance to suffer, and from there, it just gets worse.
For instance, one study found that an athlete with 5-percent dehydration averaged a 30-percent decline in performance!
3. Climate Matters: The venues in this year’s World Cup are in different cities across Brazil. One city’s weather, though, may pose a problem. Manaus is in a tropical climate near the Brazilian rainforest, and during games, the temperature will be in the 90s.
Hot, humid weather, like that in Manaus, is particularly dangerous for athletes, because humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself. When an athlete sweats, the sweat evaporates and the body heat is transferred into the air. But when the air is more humid, sweat doesn’t evaporate as efficiently, and it’s more difficult for athletes to dissipate high body heat.
Thus, in humid weather, athletes need to drink for fluids to maintain good hydration.
4. Drink Fluids All Day: Concerns over the humidity in Manaus encouraged the Italians to request more frequent in-game water breaks. Additionally, an hour before the game even starts, FIFA recommends drinking a half liter of water.
One way to combat the constant need for water, particularly during intense exercise, is to drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink like DripDrop. Not only does it provide a mild energy boost, but DripDrop can help replace the electrolytes lost through sweat.
DripDrop is the perfect drink for athletes. It has 2-3 times the electrolytes of sports drinks, with a third of the calories, and studies have shown that DripDrop rehydrates 3 times faster than plain water. Whatever your sport, though, running, jogging, biking or World Cup soccer, drink DripDrop and beat dehydration.
Image via Flickr.