The Hydration Hack You Need to Know Right Now

Sweat tons during team sports? Don't drown yourself! Science reveals the hydration sweet spot for peak performance.

NYB Team
By NYB Team
Apr 1, 2024
The Hydration Hack You Need to Know Right Now

Hey athletes! Gear up for some serious sweat science! We all know staying hydrated is crucial, but for team sports warriors like you, it's a game-changer. New research dives into how much you sweat, how much you drink, and how it all impacts your performance on the field. Buckle up, because this is about to get super interesting!

Picture this: You're tearing it up on the field – dodging tackles, sprinting for the goal, leaving everything you've got out there. But what happens when your body starts losing fluids faster than you can chug water? Studies by Casa (2018), Cheuvront et al. (2005), and Funnell et al. (2019) show that dehydration can seriously limit your performance and zap your motivation to keep pushing. Yikes!

Now, team sports are all about bursts of intense activity followed by short breaks. Think rugby scrums or soccer throw-ins. According to Billaut et al. (2012), this mix of high and low intensity workouts leads to some serious sweating – way more than endurance athletes experience (Godek, 2005). Makes sense, right? All that gear and your awesome physique contribute to a higher sweat rate. Baker et al. (2016) and Nuccio et al. (2017) found that team sport athletes often struggle to keep up with their fluid loss during training.

Here's the shocker: studies by Shirreffs et al. (2005) and Cosgrove et al. (2014) showed that soccer and rugby players only replaced about half of the fluids they lost during training!  Imagine trying to run drills with a parched throat and sluggish muscles – not exactly a recipe for victory.

But wait, there's more! The good news is, scientists are figuring out how to help you stay on top of your hydration game. Normal research methods often involve isolated tests, which don't quite capture the real-world intensity of team sports (Ali & Williams, 2013). That's why Woods et al. (2017) suggest using a special technique called "generalized additive models" (don't worry, it sounds scarier than it is!). This lets researchers analyze tons of data collected during your regular training sessions, taking into account things like weather, how much you drink, and how well you perform.

This new study, led by a team of awesome researchers, wanted to see how fluid balance affects your running performance during pre-season training for rugby and soccer. They tracked how much you sweat, how much you drink, and used fancy GPS technology to measure your performance on the field. Then, they used those fancy models to see how all these factors work together.

So, what did they find? Well, the researchers are still crunching the numbers, but we can tell you this much: staying hydrated during training is likely to keep you running faster and feeling stronger throughout your pre-season prep.

The bottom line?  Listen to your body, chug that water, and dominate the field! Remember, proper hydration is your secret weapon for peak performance. Stay tuned for the full study results, and in the meantime, keep crushing those workouts!


Badham, L., Stern, S. E., O’Connor, F. K., Wijekulasuriya, G. A., Corcoran, G., Cox, G. R., & Coffey, V. G. (2023). Fluid intake is a strong predictor of outdoor team sport pre-season training performance. Journal of Sports Sciences, 41(1), 1–7.