Basketball is a fast moving game that requires high-intensity running, fast decision-making and skillful ball handling. Studies have shown that dehydration can negatively impact performance, specifically shooting accuracy, speed, agility concentration and co-ordination.
In order to stay hydrated, players should drink fluids before, during and after training and matches. However, body fluid needs will depend on individual fluid losses, which vary depending on individual sweat rate.
If playing on an indoor air-conditioned court, players may find that they don’t sweat as much as if they are playing on a poorly ventilated court, or outdoors in the summer heat. Hot playing conditions will result in noticeably high body fluid losses; however, players should also be aware that they can still lose significant amounts of body fluids when playing in air-conditioned venues. Rather than relying on perceived sweat rate or thirst to determine fluid needs, players are encouraged to assess their unique sweat rate to guide how much to drink during training and games and for recovery.
The aim is to start any exercise session or competition well hydrated. This requires drinking regularly throughout the day leading up to training or competition. Having a drink with all meals and snacks is a good start.