our Blog

9 October 2015

Top tips for staying hydrated during basketball

In the last edition of the Senators blog we explored dehydration and its potential effects on your on court basketball performance. In this edition we follow up with some tips for staying hydrated! With summer on its way we want to make sure you all look after yourselves – particularly if you’re playing in our summer domestic competition!


Tip 1
Make sure your drink is a good temperature. A nice cold drink sounds rewarding but if it’s too cold you’re likely to drink less. Sounds obvious and it is but research suggests you’ll drink more if the temperature is 10-15 C.

Tip 2
Know your sweat rate during a basketball game. If you know how much sweat you lose per hour in a game you’ll have an idea of how much you will need to drink in a game. To determine your sweat rate:


1.Get hold of a good-quality set of bathroom scales (ideally they will have a digital display and measure to the nearest 50-100 g). Go to the bathroom and use the toilet if you need to!


2. If possible, weigh yourself with no clothes on (please don't do this in the middle of the court!)... or at the very least with only a pair of shorts on.

3. Note how much drink you consume during your session.

4. At the end of the game, record your session time in minutes, head to the bathroom, dry off any sweat (including your hair) and weigh yourself again with no clothes on.

5. First use this formula to determine how many litres sweat you lost = Start weight (kg) – Finish weight (kg) + Drink consumed (Litres)

6. Finally divide the litres of sweat you lost by the hours you spent on court. This is your sweat rate; the Litres of fluid you need to drink per hour during a game.

NB. Please note: Never over drink to the point where you actually gain weight.


Tip 3

Drink a sports drink with less than 6 g of carbohydrate per 100 ml. Some drinks are energy drinks not sports drinks. If the carbohydrate concentration is too high it can hinder rehydration. The other main active ingredient in sports drinks is sodium chloride (table salt!) – the predominant electrolyte you lose in sweat. Essentially a sports drink is water, sugar and salt so if you’re game you can make your own sports drink using this sports drink calculator.

I hope those tips get you on your way to staying hydrated in you games!


by Dr Laurence Houghton PhD (Sports Science)