Hydration for Baseball (or any sport for that matter)

The game of baseball can be harsh.  Games can last forever during the hottest days of the year.

To fight this and maintain your athletic performance one of the most important things that you need to keep in check is your hydration.

Without adequate hydration:

  • your nerves and the muscles they control cannot function properly
  • you won’t be able to concentrate and think clearly
  • increase you chances of cramping
  • Increases your perceived exertion – you might be doing something that normally feels like a 6 on a scale of 1-10 but when you are dehydrated that 6 feels more like a 9

These are just some of the things that can happen if we are dehydrated which is defined as losing more than 2% of your body weight in water.  Just remember that water makes up 90% of every human.  To make things worse we start to see some of those negative effects with just a 1% decrease.

How do you know if you are hydrated?

To see if you are drinking enough you have to take note of your urine.  You should have to go to the bathroom to urinate every 2-4 hours and the color should be light yellow.

 

If you find that your urine is dark or that you haven’t urinated in the last 2+hours don’t panic by drinking as much water as you can at once.  The body responds better to smaller but more frequent doses.

To avoid this panic and get the quality and quantity of urine you are going to have plan to drink enough water every day then dividing it up.

The old standard of 8 glasses of water per day is why to general and doesn’t take into account the amount of activity you are doing.  In order to personalize multiply your body weight by 0.6 or 0.7 and this is the number of ounces you should be drinking.

Someone who is 200 lbs would need around 130 ounces.  That’s 4 of these:

water

I recommend getting a bottle like this or even bigger and making the simple of goal of consuming enough water by figuring our how many times you need to fill your water bottle.

This is just a starting point because the more you work/exercise coupled with hot and humid weather means that you will have to adjust from there.  The amount of your sweat paired the frequency of urination along with its color will tell you if you need to increase your water intake.

Make sure that you have been meeting these standards in the days leading up to competition because they serve as the foundation of good hydration.  We can’t just pound back the water right before the game and expect for our bodies to able to optimally process this water and get it to where it needs to be.

Once you have started competing the general recommendation during exercises you need 4-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes.  Again this is going to be different between the starting pitcher and the designated hitter.

Is water enough?

Water is recommend for exercises that last less than one hour.  Longer than that the recommendation shifts towards “sport drinks” in order to provide both energy and electrolytes.

The energy we need from our drinks is in the form of carbohydrates and not caffeine or whatever type of patented formula that these companies promote.  For the most past these types of drinks as well as pop drinks like Coke or Dr. Pepper will cause you to be more dehydrated only increasing your need for more water!

 

 

 

 

 

Sport drinks should have about 14 grams of carbohydrates per 8 ounces.

Here is an ultra simple recipe to make your own sport drink to help both save money and save the planet with less plastic bottles

  • Pinch of salt
  • 500 ml of water
  • 20 grams of sugar

You can add some flavor and take care of the sugar my using fruit juice then diluting it with water.

The salt is used to ensure that your electrolytes like sodium and potassium are in balance. Without enough electrolytes you lose the ability for your cells to communicate effectively. This is massively important when trying to coordinate precise activities like throwing and hitting.

Citrus fruit like lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange all naturally help with electrolyte balance but still the addition of salt is needed like in this simple recipe.

  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 whole squeezed orange (or one frozen can of orange juice)
  • 1 litre of water

This one is tart and sweet.  If that doesn’t fit the bill for you then try this one that has mother nature’s Gatorade, Coconut Water, as the main ingredient

  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Stevia (natural sweetener) or honey
  • 1 litre of water

 

 

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