Pickleball Key: Stay Hydrated

It is still not officially summer, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t already warm in many parts of the country.  As the temperatures rise, staying hydrated becomes increasingly important.

hydrated

Long Hot Tournament Days

The tough thing about tournaments like the recent US Open is having age and skill events.  We end up playing twice as many events, meaning longer hours on the court.  If we are playing outdoors, especially in hot and humid conditions we sweat a lot.  Staying hydrated throughout the day can be a challenge.

Water Isn’t Enough

Thirst is not a good indicator of your need to hydrate.  In fact, when you experience thirst you are well past the point of needing to drink something.  Shortly after thirst, comes cramps.  These are painful and also threaten to end your tournament day.  (As an aside, did you know if you call a medical timeout due to cramps the onsite medic will make a determination of your ability to play.  If it is determined that the situation is cramping, the medical timeout is ended and your team is charged with one or two timeouts.  You are then required to resume play immediately.)

On long tournament days, water the day of the event is not enough.  Instead, you need to:

  • Begin hydrating the day before;
  • Utilize products that restore electrolytes as well as water;
  • Eat snacks throughout the day

There are many products available including sports drinks, electrolyte flavored waters, supplements, etc.  You can also try Tums to prevent or minimize cramping.  Take a few at a time through the day.

Keep Snacking

hydratedYou also want to keep snacking throughout the day.  Some players rely on bananas, however, in my experience, these go through your system pretty quickly.  I prefer nuts, dates, dried apricots and the like.

Prepare your snacks and hydration the day before the event so you don’t worry about it on game day.  It is never a bad thing to be too prepared!