The importance of hydration takes so many different shapes and definitions amongst different populations and for me that couldn’t be truer. Being a husband whose wife is going on baby #3 in 3 years and has experienced extreme morning sickness to having a mother who has been suffering from breast cancer for the last year to being a strength and conditioning coach to several high-level athletes; the use of Hydralyte and preventing and managing hydration has taken many shapes for me.
My primary day to day use of Hydralyte products is to help keep the athletes I train hydrated and ready to perform at their optimal levels. I have a unique opportunity within the private sector to train many professional athletes across leagues, including athletes training for the NFL combine, as well as being the Director of Strength and Conditioning for Tennessee State University. The greatest difference I have been able to see is the increased performance amongst the basketball team at Tennessee State.
Finding Solutions to Nutrition & Hydration on Limited Budgets
Outside of the schools with never-ending athletic budgets there are fewer resources at smaller, lower-budget institutions to really make nutrition and hydration a priority. Many do a great job of putting forth the effort to provide healthy resources but at the end of the day, there is only so much you can put towards a nutrition budget when so many other things are needed. Our staff has made an extensive effort to try and provide resources, but there is still a level of education that has to take place within the athlete and that is where the problem lies. Many of the kids I have trained have grown up eating fast food and drinking highly caloric beverages before a game. They have gotten to being the best this way as it had not seemed to matter to their performance until they began competing at a much higher level. For our guys that sentiment could not have rung truer.
Proper Hydration for Athletes
Leading into the basketball season, we suffered a lot of missed time throughout the preseason with players cramping and fatiguing too quickly. The effort had been put in and their “conditioning levels” were hitting the mark but their nutrition and commitment to ensure their body was well hydrated was not. Our first game of the season we had 3 players cramp within the first 10 minutes of the first half. It was a crucial point for us. I was familiar with Hydralyte products from my years in the industry and we tested giving each athlete a Hydralyte solution immediately upon cramping. The athletes enjoyed the taste and the effect it had on their bodies. We then gave them two to three more throughout the duration of the game as well as increased their overall fluid intake. The result? No cramps the rest of the game. Since that first game in November we have implemented a protocol using Hydralyte, where they must drink at least two servings the night before the game and at least two the day of the game. In addition, their overall fluid intake is constantly monitored. In the 21 games we have played since we have had zero missed minutes due to cramping or dehydration. The athletes now understand the necessity of improving their fluid quality and have made a greater concerted effort to drink the right things and treat their body properly so they can perform optimally.
Hydration plays an important role in an athlete’s performance, the body’s recovery and someone’s overall well-being. I have seen this first hand not only across sports but in the day to day life of my family.