Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How Much Fluid Does a Rugby Player Need?

We partnered with Ruck Science to bring you a series of articles about athlete performance. Today's is about high intensity training and dehydration.

Generally speaking, there is no golden number when it comes to the amount of fluid every rugby payer is going to need. The amount of fluid needed is going to be determined based on sweat rate, environmental temperature, type of activity, as well as length of activity. Body weight will also play a role in how much fluid is needed in order to properly rehydrate the body. The amount of fluid needed is also going to come down to the individual rugby player, as everyone's hydration needs will vary. Despite the variations, what is known, is that rugby players are going to need a larger amount of fluid intake than an athlete that is not constantly training. The amount of energy exuded by rugby players during both training sessions, and matches warrants a close look at what proper hydration means. While there is no standard number, the amount of hydration needed for rugby players is going to be fairly consistent across the board, assuming that both training and games require significant energy, and activity from every rugby player, give or take a couple of ounces due to variations in body weight.

Re-hydration is crucial to a rugby player's performance, since even very small amounts of fluid loss are going to impair athletic physical, and mental performance. The average amount of fluid a rugby player should be consuming a day is 2.5 liters of water from both fluid, and food sources. (1) This amount does not include the fluid a rugby player should be sipping on  throughout a match, or practice. Remember that thirst is an indicator of poor hydration, so do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Drink the recommended 2.5 liters per day, and increase during training, and games.

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Rugby players will also want to make sure there are hydrating during training and throughout games as well. Making up for fluid and electrolyte loss is essential in supporting successful athletic performance. As numbers will vary slightly depending on the size of each rugby player, a general rule of thumb is to re-hydrate with 7-10 ounce of water every 10-20 minutes during periods of strenuous activity. (2) This means, taking the appropriate breaks and re-fueling on at least one cup of of water during rest period. Just be careful not to drink more than 4 cups in one hour, doing do may cause overhydration. Rehydrating Is an easy step towards preventing athletic fatigue, and exhaustion. It’s also important for players to continue to re-hydrate after a game or practice is over, by consuming at least 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after activity. During games, and training the body is constantly releasing fluid through perspiration leading to an increased need for fluid replacement before, during, and after activity. Stay on top of these hydration tips to prevent dehydration, and a lack of game day performance.

While hydration may be fairly easy during periods of strenuous activity, it may be difficult for rugby players to remember to hydrate before a game or training session. As a way to help get the adequate amount of fluid in per day, drink from a measured water bottle so you know how many bottles you must drink per day to achieve adequate fluid intake. To gauge your hydration levels monitor the color of your urine. If your urine is pale in color, chances are you are hydrating enough. If your urine is dark in color you are not getting enough. Stay on top of hydrating, and you will not have to worry about poor performance due to dehydration. Think of hydration as another part of training, without it you will underperform.

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