Dehydration in Football

Posted on: July 19th, 2022 | by Laura Murdoch | No Comments

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 12:48 pm

Dehydration in Football


How to stay adequately hydrated


It’s been very hot for the past few days, which means it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated. Especially if you’re going to be playing sports or taking part in training sessions. Dehydration in football is a big issue, so how can you ensure you stay hydrated?


Footballer carrying a set of Pendle water bottles



Dehydration in Football

Studies have shown that the majority of footballers walk onto the pitch in some state of dehydration. A player can run for a distance of around 8 to 13 km during a 90-minute match. Obviously, players will experience a certain amount of sweating during the match. When discussing dehydration in relation to exercise, we define it as a loss in body weight. So, 1% dehydration would be recorded as a 1% loss in body weight. Dehydration will change depending on the individual and various environmental factors. However, it’s not uncommon for an active player to lose up to a kilo in weight through dehydration.


Footballer staying hydrated during training


Effect of Dehydration on Football Performance

Research has shown that it only takes 2% dehydration to affect a footballer’s performance. If you aren’t hydrated at the start of the match, you probably won’t be playing at your best. Dehydration depletes carbohydrate stores quicker. Carbohydrates provide the fuel needed for high-intensity activity, which is why performance suffers. It will also make you feel as though you have to work harder to maintain the same level of intensity that you did at the start of the match.


Pendle Football and Water Bottle on Pitch


Electrolyte Imbalance

Sweating will also have an effect on the electrolyte balance in your body. This includes a loss of sodium, which has been linked to muscle cramps. You can help to replace these as you rehydrate by either adding 0.5g of salt to every litre of water or by drinking an isotonic sports drink.


Pre-Match Hydration

Hydration should be something that players are continually thinking about. Make sure that you are drinking regularly in the week leading up to your match or training session. Water is also taken from the food we eat, so you can also try to eat plenty of water-rich foods. There’s no exact figure for how much you should consume but some experts believe we should be aiming for around 2 litres per day. However, this will change from person to person. You will also need to remember to compensate for water lost during exercise.


Football player drinking water during a training session



Hydration During a Match

It can be difficult for players to replace the fluid lost through sweat during a match. This is mainly due to the limited number of opportunities to rehydrate while the game is in progress. It’s important that you take every chance to pick up your water bottle. The best way to remain hydrated for the whole match is to take regular small sips. You don’t want to overdo it but make sure you take every chance you can.

Post-Match Hydration

Rehydration is a key part of post-match recovery. You need to replace the fluids and electrolytes that were lost during a match. If you have lost body weight, you should aim to replace the lost fluid and electrolytes before your next match or training session. If you are severely dehydrated (with a body mass loss of 5% or more), you should drink 1.5litre of fluid for every 1kg of lost body weight. This should also be the case if your next match or training session is less than 24 hours away.



Football Player Holding Water Bottle


The Important Bits


Keeping hydrated is important for everyone and should be something that you think about every day. Make sure you always have a water bottle to hand and grab it every chance you get. Especially in really hot weather. If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, check out Pendle’s range. They are the perfect size to get you through your match or training session.



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Pendle Recommendations


Hydra Yellow Water Bottle Hydra Black Water Bottle Aqua Neon Water Bottle




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