Sports fans and athletes here in Charleston know how hot it gets here during the summer months. Athletes at all levels and ages have to stay hydrated to avoid heat illness and play at top levels.
All players first need to remember that preparation is the key. They must arrive well hydrated, drinking enough water and other fluids throughout each preceding day. On the day of a match, they should drink small amounts at every break. If players tend to experience muscle cramping, they can add salt to their sports drinks.
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While many players prefer water, sports drinks can be good choices for athletes not only to replace water lost in sweat but also to provide carbohydrates for immediate energy and electrolytes. Sports drinks without caffeine or carbonation are preferable. And chocolate milk has become a trendy option for post-match and post-workout recovery. It provides a good mix of carbohydrate, protein, and fluid useful after long periods of physical exertion.
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Note: A modified version of this post appeared in The Daily Slice for the Family Circle Cup.