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Play sports? Stay hydrated to make it count, avoid illness

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Casey Chung, Wheatley Heights

Have you ever felt light-headed, or faint? This may mean you are dehydrated. During any sport, it is very important to drink water. Drinking water is extremely crucial because your body is more than 50 percent water.

As an athlete, I have experienced dehydration when I didn’t drink water and it ruined my practice. I felt like I had a very bad headache. Once I drank water, I felt much better and had a great rest of the practice. If you drink enough water, you will be more capable of doing your best.

Sometimes just plain water tastes terrible! I’ve experimented with flavored water. You can steep fruit in it, or squeeze fruit juice into the water. That way, you can stay hydrated while accommodating your taste buds.

According to my father, David Lipetz, who is a physical therapist, staying hydrated positively impacts the way our muscles function. If you are not hydrated, your performance on the field and court will be compromised. Before you start exercising, it is recommended to hydrate, but not too much. You don’t want a cramp. Depending on how difficult your practice is, you should be getting water breaks, but if you are starting to feel dizzy, it is important to listen to your body. If you are feeling faint, stop what you are doing and take a drink. It also helps to take a bite of a high protein food in conjunction with liquids.

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