Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Importance of a Goaltender Staying Hydrated

In Goal Magazine has recently done a study on goalie hydration. The scientist conducting the study was Dr. Lawrence Spriet. He shows you just how important it is to keep hydrated to reach peak performance.

- Losing only 1-2% of your body mass can impair performance - that's as little as 2 pounds for a 200 lb. goalie - less for you fit types!

- Players lost on average 1.8 L per hour of fluid - to replace that fluid you would need to drink nearly two large water bottles. And certainly one full bottle to stay within the 1% loss of body mass.

- Goalies averaged 2.9L lost in an hour - 3 very large water bottles! The goalies did drink the most - 1.8 L on average - but they still lost on average 1.1% of body mass.

- You have to assume that these well-trained young men were taught in their careers about the importance of hydration - yet 1/3 of them still lost more than 1% of their mass.

- The players were not able to maintain adequate sodium balance.

- The players tended to choose sports drinks before practice and plain water during.

- Sodium Balance - Sodium replacement is essential for retaining ingested fluid and restoring fluid balance after exercise

- Suggest extra sodium sports drink to help replacement of sodium - drinking water only can be a real problem.

Goalies sweat the most, losing 2.9 ± 0.2 Lh–1, and this can be attributed to their constant involvement in the drills during the practice — other players, upon completing a drill, waited for 4 – 5 of their teammates to complete their turns before repeating the drill. This allowed the players a chance to rest while the goalies were generally involved in many or all successive repetitions of each drill. The sweating response would presumably be different in game situations, as goalies are only required to react to game play in their end while other players are continuously active during their shifts. This is supported by a study by Green et al. (1976) that demonstrated much smaller increases in blood lactate for a goalie (n = 1, +153%) than for other players (n = 7, +325% ± 16%) during a game, despite similar fitness levels.

Bottom Line - How Should a Goalie Manage Hydration?

The bottom line is that it is unsure how much this matters for non-elite players. The only way to be sure is to take your body weight before and after a game or practice - right before old-timers, not after that extra hour in the dressing room or local watering hole!

- If you are losing more than 1% of your body weight you have a potential problem.

- Sports drinks have little value before a game, but are exactly what you need during a game - the extra sodium versions.

- You need a well balanced meal right after the game - if it will be delayed there are many recovery shake options that are essentially chocolate milk!

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