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Soccer Hydration

by Taylor Tollison

You need to fuel your body right to perform optimally at your highest level and to stay safe. There are a few levels you need to think about as you approach soccer nutrition. In this article I will only delve into the hydration area of nutrition. I feel this is very critical to the success of soccer athletes.

Proper Sports Hydration is a very important factor for soccer players to be healthy and perform at their best

You can go a month without food, but only a few days without water. Our bodies are made up of up to 60% water. The brain is made up of 70% water. About 83% of our blood is water and almost 90% of our lungs are water. Even lean muscle has about 75% water by weight. (4) Is water important in our everyday diet? You bet. A soccer players performance is very dependent on how hydrated you are. It’s so critical that you stay hydrated during a game and then after (especially in tournament situations because you probably have a game the next day).

It is generalized that a sweat loss of 2% body mass reduction is acceptable. The main electrolyte lost in sweat is sodium. (2) You need to be careful with youth soccer players and make sure they are rehydrating completely after practice and games. There was a study done on elite Brazilian youth soccer players during consecutive days of training. They concluded that “young, native tropical soccer players” arrive not hydrated enough to training. (3) What does this mean to you? Parents and coaches should educate athletes on the importance of proper hydration strategies so they first stay safe and second perform at their best.


One guideline is to teach the athletes to use sports drinks when a continuous workout is of greater than 90 minutes, otherwise water fine. (1)



2) Hydration: special issues for playing football in warm and hot environments. School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK Shirreffs SM. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Oct;20 Suppl 3:90-4

3) Fluid balance of elite Brazilian youth soccer players during consecutive days of training, Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Vicosa, Vicosa MG, Brazil. J Sports Sci. 2011 Apr;29(7):725-32.Silva RP et al.