Hydration and Lacrosse

Hydration. I’m sure you’ve heard about how important it is for you, and it’s true it is! Water is the most important nutrient in the body. It makes up 55-60% of our bodies and you can go weeks without food, but only days without any water.  It serves MANY roles in the body, but as lacrosse athletes we are specifically focused on it’s ability to lubricate joints, preventing tissues from sticking and empowering the body’s natural healing processes.  These functions keep us agile and ready to go for practices/games day after day.

Most people believe they drink a fair amount of water, however it’s important to know that many beverages are not hydrating but are termed diuretics.  These are substances that cause you to urinate more than you should.  Think coffee, teas, soda, and packaged fruit juices.  Even though these are liquids, they actually make you lose water!  So if you are drinking these types of beverages it’s important to drink MORE water to make up it.  Here’s a common equation to help you figure out how much water you should be drinking daily:  (Ounces of Diuretics x 1.5) + (Body Weight in Pounds/2)  Here’s an example for a 150 pound man who has an 8oz cup of coffee a day: (8 x 1.5) + (150/2)=12+75=87oz water a day.

In order to properly absorb the water we drink we need ELECTROLYTES.  If you’ve heard about Gatorade, you might be familiar with this term.  These are minerals that become capable of conducting electricity when dissolved in water, think sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.  These are the BIG ones.  Gatorade and similar drinks can be full of electrolytes, however they are also full of other nasty sugars and colors.  To easily get electrolytes simply add some sea salt to water, or look to make your own natural sports drink.  I highly recommend the one by Mommypotamus, simple and easy to customize to your flavor preferences.  It’s important to note that these beverages are really only needed when you are performing strenuous activities for more than an hour, and particularly on hot/humid days.

If you have any further questions regarding hydration or nutrition feel free to connect with me, knippenb@augsburg.edu

Kathryn Knippenberg
Epoch Women Author

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