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In this blog post we put some questions to West Ham nutritionist Matt Jones, asking him about how a player can correctly hydrate during football training sessions, and how this can be tailored to suit the weather, their on-field position, body composition and training routine.

Pro footballers are known for some strange pre-match habits – whether that’s being the last player to walk onto the pitch, cutting holes in the back of their socks, or kissing their goalkeeper’s bald head. 

Yet, one thing that every professional footballer does before, during and after football is hydrate properly. This is one habit that every Sunday league player should copy.

Good hydration is crucial. The average footballer is likely to lose 1.1 litres of water through sweat during a game; often more. Without replenishing yourself with enough fluid, you risk varying degrees of dehydration – when your body does not have enough water to do its job.

Existing evidence suggests that many footballers begin training and games in a hypohydrated state, and thus hydrating properly could provide a small competitive advantage over opposing players. Players may lose roughly 800 ml of fluid per hour through sweat when playing in cool temperatures and up to 1500 ml of fluid per hour when playing in warm temperatures. Some will only consume enough to replace 50% of that fluid, but many consume enough to prevent body mass losses of more than 2%. 

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