Although baseball players may not be as susceptible to injury as many other athletes, they are still extremely vulnerable to dehydration and heat illness. When baseball players fail to take proper hydration precautions, they run the risk of seriously damaging their bodies and tarnishing their playing abilities. Although dehydration may seem minor, it actually affects your body in some pretty major ways.
Take dehydration seriously.
Dehydration and heat illness can be effortlessly prevented, but they are not as easy to recover from. If left untreated, simple dehydration may lead to even more harmful illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps or even heat stroke. These three heat illness come with a heavy load of unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, seizures, headaches, weakness, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, and unconsciousness— just to name a few.
Look out for early signs.
Early indicators of dehydration include dryness of the mouth and eyes, fatigue, increased irritability, thirst, and lack of urine or dark urine.
If you experience any of these signs then you are actually already dehydrated and should take immediate action by drinking water or any available beverage that is high in water content.
Dehydration can happen quite easily, but drinking water alone is not a quick fix. When you drink a fluid it takes around two hours for your body to fully process it. This means if you are already experiencing signs of dehydration, it is important drink water as soon as possible and make sure you are not over exerting yourself. If symptoms arise directly before or during a game then sit the game out and contact a parametric if the symptoms worsen.
- Always drink lots of fluids at least two hours or more before practice or a game begins.
- To keep hydrated, it is recommended you consume at least eight cups of water daily to remain hydrated and healthy.
- DO NOT try to consume a lot of water all at once, this could make you sick. Instead, drink reasonable portions of water throughout the day.
- Drinking water or 100% juice is recommended.
- Sports drinks are also a good alternative, but are better to drink during a game as opposed to before. This is because sports drinks typically contain a lot of electrolytes, these electrolytes are meant to replace the ones you lose while you are playing. If you consume too many electrolytes before a game, this could cause you to become ill.
Remember, dehydration not only negatively affects your playing ability, but it can also have detrimental long-term effects on your body. Perform at your peak level by avoiding extreme heat and by staying hydrated.