The number one challenge for any cricketer is how to maintain hydration in long days of hot weather when fielding or bowling. Did you know that being dehydrated any more than 1% of your body weight can impact negatively on your performance?
Dehydration makes it more difficult to make decisions and can cause you to fatigue earlier.
Dehydration impairs:
• The body’s ability to regulate heat = increase in body temp + heart rate
• Perceived exertion = feel more fatigued and decreased work output
• Mental function = decreased motor control, decision making, skill & concentration
• Gastric emptying = stomach discomfort and reduced opportunity for fluid replacement

How do I know if I am dehydrated?
Symptoms of dehydration may include overheating, feeling thirsty, early fatigue, headaches, nausea, loss of concentration, muscle cramps and twitches and dark concentrated urine. Sweat rates differs depending on body size, age, exercise intensity, environment and fitness levels so there is no guideline that suits everyone. A great way to check if you are hydrated is by the colour of your urine. Clear to pale straw = hydrated. Yellow, dark yellow or green/brown means dehydrated and impairment of your performance.
What fluids do I need?
For everyday hydration choose water as your main fluid and drink frequently throughout the day. For standard training sessions water is fine too. Keep a water bottle nearby and drink small amounts at every opportunity. If you are training or competing for over 90 mins, it is particularly warm or you know you are a salty sweater (think salt deposits on your lips and face when exercising, a feeling a salt crystals on the skin once sweat dries and a salt ring on clothing once sweat dries) you may choose to use a sports drink such as Gatorade, Staminade or Powerade to help provide carbohydrates and replace electrolytes. Keep sipping on water with your sports drink to ensure adequate hydration.

Practical Tips
– Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink
– Take a water bottle with you to training and sip often throughout the day
– Check the colour of your urine and aim for a pale straw colour (think homemade lemonade). If it’s more like apple juice, you’re dehydrated!
– Don’t just drink from the bubblers, you will not consume nearly as much as if you have water bottle with you and take sips regularly
~ Eat Smart Nutrition