"Make sure you drink a lot of water so you don't cramp up!"
"Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning!"
"You must drink 8 glasses of water per day!"
Despite these common statements, I've found athletes still struggle with making sure they're hydrated. Even at the elite level, hydration seems to be this concept that athletes know is important, but never seem to do.
Why does this matter?
Because "dehydration impairs sprint performance, negatively alters perception of recovery status before exercise, and results in increased rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate response!" (source)
Here is a quick way to have your athletes monitor their hydration status to ensure their performance isn't affected by something as simple as drinking enough water...
This guy was was a division 1 athlete now playing in the NBA development league!
Rather than placing all the blame on the athletes, coaches/trainers, etc. should also be held accountable for not educating their guys not only on the importance of hydration. but also on how to monitor hydration status.
Instead than instructing guys take in a specific amount of water, I simply tell our players to "monitor what color your urine is" and then either drink more or less water accordingly.
I also provide this chart I quickly put together as a guide:
If not, drink more water!
Also, here is an excellent graphic from YLM Sport Science on how well different drinks hydrate us. I definitely recommend checking his website out here.
It doesn't have to be complicated; simply use urine color as a guide to signal more/less intake of fluids.
Don't let something as simple as hydration decrease your athletes' performance!