I can’t begin to tell you how much of a difference it is playing basketball properly hydrated and playing basketball dehydrated. It’s like night and day or more appropriately put, desert and oasis. If I’m playing dehydrated, my throat is extra dry, my mouth is extra dry, its difficult to speak to call out screens and such, my muscles even feel more fatigued quicker and on the verge of cramping. When I’m properly hydrated, my body is like a well oiled machine. I’m actually able to focus better on every nuance of the game because I’m not focused on how dry my mouth is and finding for a drink.
Basketball hydration doesn’t happen right before you play or even a couple hours before. Basketball hydration comes from having the correct habits on a daily basis. By the correct habits I mean following this simple formula: Drink when you’re thirsty, and when you’re thirsty, drink water. Ever since being enlightened to this formula, life within the game of basketball has been better. I even feel like my sweat is purified drinking water instead of saltwater.
I remember my younger days when I disliked drinking water except for when I was playing one of the many sports I played at which time the water fountain was like heaven. I used to think water was bland and tasteless. I also knew early on that sports drinks, sodas and juices only made me thirstier and didn’t actually quench my thirst. That didn’t stop me from wanting another soda from the store or apple juice from the market. I’ve grown to realize it’s not about taste, its about hydration. Also, when you start going for only water and experience the difference between good tap water, bad tap water, purified bottled water, etc. you begin to notice water does have a taste.
My routine is coffee in the morning which kickstarts my day but also makes me thirsty for water when finished. From there, I begin filling and refilling my cup with water and drink throughout the day whenever I feel thirsty. Over time, your body will adapt to anything you put in it, so why not have it adapt to something its already made of like water instead of something poisonous like alcohol? Not only will you begin to appreciate water more, the sugar levels in soda and juices with be heightened and you’ll be reminded why you stay away from them.
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