A cricketer spends a lot of time under the sun during training and playing. The body controls its temperature by losing fluids, and failing to replace those fluids is a problem. Excessive fluid loss strips your electrolytes, reduces your endurance capacity, power, and concentration and decreases reaction time in the game. An easy practical way to monitor sweat loss is to weigh oneself before and after activity. Each pound of weight lost equals one pint of fluid, and each kilogram equals one and a half liters. These losses should be replaced as soon as possible by drinking water and sports drinks.
If the time of activity for an individual cricketer is fairly continuous for 1 hour or longer, a sports drink is the better replacement fluid. However, if the activity lasts less than 1 hour, water is the best option. In either case, one should have about half a litre of fluid replacement every 30 minutes during strenuous, continuous activity. How much one needs to drink depends on how much sweat one loses. Energy-electrolyte drinks can replenish the minerals lost through sweating, thus ensuring that the body has the fuel to work, even on hot days!
- Sip at least 250-500 ml of fluids at regular intervals during training and competition. Make the most of opportunities such as warm-up, breaks during over changes, the fall of wickets and when not fielding to sip on a drink.
- Increase your fluid intake the day before which will help begin a training session/match well hydrated which will ensure that only moderate amounts of fluid are needed on match day.
- Indeed a sports drink to help replace electrolytes and energy. Use isotopic sports drinks to replace fluid, electrolytes as well as carbohydrates.
- Exclude excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol (they have a diuretic effect and cause further dehydration).
- Monitor your urine color: it should be pale, not dark in color.
- Replace both fluid and carbohydrate losses at the end of a match. The amount is individual, however general guidelines indicate that for every kg of weight lost during a match, replace with 1.5L fluid.
Cricketers can rely on various sports drinks for this purpose. Ideally, a sports drink should:
- Balance out the electrolytes and fluids lost through sweating
- Supply one with energy in the form of carbohydrates during prolonged strenuous activity
- Ensure a rapid fluid intake by being hypotonic or isotonic.