Science

UOIT Ridgeback’s Women’s Soccer Fitness Coach Tip of the Day – Day 6 – Check Body Weight

The Canadian University Soccer season is here, and this year marks my 3rd season as Assistant Coach and Fitness Coach with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks Women’s Varsity Soccer Team.  This season, I will be blogging every day with a ‘Tip of the Day’ – a small piece of information about the testing, training, monitoring, or performance analysis I am doing with the team.

Today’s Tip of the Day is about hydration.  Many different resources exist to help athletes determine how much fluid and electrolytes they should be consuming during training and competition, however, the exact quantities needed to adequately replenish lost water and electrolytes can vary greatly from individual to individual.  One technique I have used to measure players’ hydration (or lack thereof) which is simple, easy to administer and allows for individualization, is to check body weight before and after training and games.  Studies have shown that players who lose greater than or equal to 1% of their body weight are considered “dehydrated”.  After checking players’ body weight, steps can be taken to ensure that weight lost in future training sessions/games is less than the 1% cut-off.  Below is a simple summary of how to manage body weight changes:

  • Start by examining 1-2 weeks of data, which should include training and games
  • If average body weight lost was more than 1%, start measuring the amount of water, and sodium, consumed, and add 250mL more water + 200mg more sodium (adding sodium can be done by adding salt to water or sports drinks)
  • If the addition of 250mL more water, and 200mg more sodium, keeps weight loss to under 1%, then stay with that amount for all future training sessions/games
  • If not, add another 250mL of water and 200mg of sodium, and try again until you have found the right amount

This simple strategy of measuring body weight pre- and post-training and games, combined with adjusting water and sodium intake for each individual player, has worked well for me in several different environments throughout my career.  I am sure it will be just as helpful for any other coach or fitness coach who is interested in keeping their players hydrated.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic.  Drop me a line here to get the conversation started. 

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