Since summer is approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss proper hydration tips for baseball pitchers, and strategies for avoiding dehydration.
Whether you are playing summer baseball, or beginning your off-season training regime, it is important that every baseball player understands the importance of staying hydrated.
Look, we know that pitching in warm weather is very desirable: It is easier to get and stay loose, easier to throw harder, and easier to see movement on breaking pitches because of the heavy air.
While all of these aspects are great, warm weather can also be very dangerous if baseball pitchers are not careful.
That’s because hot weather can result in dehydration, and starting baseball pitchers are much more susceptible to dehydration on a hot summer day because of the duration of activity.
This is why pitchers must develop a strategy for staying hydrated!
Before I explain particular hydration strategies, it is important to understand the characteristics of water.
Facts about water for baseball players
- It makes up more than 2/3 of our body weight
- A human can only survive 2-3 days without water
- The human brain contains 95% water
- Our blood contains 82% water
- The lungs contain 90% water
- Only a 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration
- According to some studies, drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and can possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer.
As you can see, water is an integral part of human life, but especially for athletes. So how do we stay hydrated and healthy during the upcoming summer baseball season, and next season?
Hydration strategies for baseball pitchers
It all begins in the preseason.
Baseball players should record weight measurements before and after each game or practice. By doing so, you will be able to see typically how much weight is lost during these activities.
With this information you can determine how much water should be consumed during competition.
Players should drink enough water during a baseball game to maintain their body weight. It may be difficult to determine how much water should be consumed, but a simple formula to remember is that one pint of fluid is the equivalent of one pound of body weight.
Another important thing to remember is that you should consume water prior to the game, between innings, and following the activity. With that being said, athletes should be consuming around 64 ounces of water a day when practicing, playing games, or exercising.
Additionally, alcohol and caffeinated drinks should be avoided during the days of baseball games, and avoided in general if you care about your performance. These substances increase the possibility of dehydration.
Dehydration occurs when a players sweat loss exceeds fluid intake.
Dehydration in baseball players can cause fatigue, poor performance, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. In a worst case scenario, understanding the signs of dehydration could potentially prevent any unnecessary damage to your health. If these scenario doe not convince to drink more water, than how about the fact that the loss of five percent or more body weight loss can result in heat stroke.
Let’s examine the signs of hydration so that this never happens to anyone.
Signs of dehydration
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Low or no urine output
- Very dark colored, concentrated urine
- Not producing tears
The role of sports drinks and water for pitchers
While water is always the best fluid for preventing dehydration, sports drinks can also be very beneficial for replacing electrolytes and carbohydrates that were lost during strenuous activity. If you have consumed the necessary amount of water than there is nothing wrong with consuming these drinks. Just make sure that water is your number one priority.
Consume water and sports drinks together to ensure proper hydration and health.
Some popular and recommended sports drinks include Gatorade and Powerade.
In conclusion, drinking water is one of the most important assets to any baseball pitcher’s diet. Drink it daily, and drink it frequently. By doing so, your body will remain healthy, strong, and hydrated.
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