August 1, 2022

Staying Hydrated to Ensure Top Performance

The world of nutrition can be mis leading and confusing when it comes to whats best to eat and drink, so let’s break it down for you

Written by Rose Johnston | Level 3 Personal Trainer and Nutritionist

Water is one of the most underrated tools to improve your gameplay and to successfully recover post match as well,

We’ve all heard that we need to drink plenty of water during games. And we may have heard it needs to be along the lines of 2-3L.

But the truth is that everyone is completely different. And understanding YOUR body is the best way to know when you need to grab your water bottle.

The best indicators for when you need a drink are :

The colour of your wee

Wrinkles on the tips of your fingers 

If your wee is a dark yellow then it’s a good indicator the body needs more water. Now first thing in the morning, do not be alarmed if your urine is a dark colour. This is because we will have had a prolonged period of time without any water. I think it’s good practice to drink a glass of water in the morning to help wake your body up and get the body some much needed water ASAP.

If the tips of your finger are “pruney” as though you’ve just got out of a swimming pool then this is another indicator your body needs some extra hydration. Your body responds to dehydration by sending blood away from the area, and the loss of blood volume makes your vessels thinner. The skin folds in over them, and this causes wrinkles. And I don’t know about you guys but I kinda need my hands to be as elasticated and ready to go in a netball game as much as possible,

Now don’t get me wrong, as you start to increase your water you most likely need to visit the loo a bit more in the first few weeks as your body adapts, not necessarily a bad thing as you’ll get your steps in at least!

To combat this aim to drink little and often throughout the day.

During game play you can of course drink as much as you feel is comfortable to replace the fluids lost during sweating.

If you’re drinking enough away from gameplay then you shouldn’t have to worry too much about dehydrating during a game.

Water is ALWAYS best regarding hydration but if you’re someone who sweats a lot, then sports drinks might be an option during game play but always water over sports drinks for rehydration.

Something else that can help keep you hydrated is to EAT your water. Watermelon, cucumber sticks, apples, tomatoes, peaches, grapes etc all contain plenty of water to help boost your water levels throughout the day.

That’s HOW we can stay hydrated.

By WHY do you need to stay hydrated?

As our bodies are practically 60% water and our brains are 75% water, it’s no wonder that when we don’t keep hydrated that fatigue and brain fog can occur.

Neither are particularly great on the netball court.

Ensuring you keep hydrated means :

  • Better sleep to help your muscles recover from the game
  • Aid digestion to help either energise you correctly for a game or help process protein for recovery post game
  • Joint lubrication to help reduce risk of injury and potentially improve performance on court

Arguably the most important part of staying hydrated is the impact it will have on your cognitive functioning. Your thinking processes on court. 

Being able to read the game and make split second decisions can be vital to winning the game. Making sure you’re hydrated will help aid this.

Also as a result of keeping your brain working efficiently, your mood will most likely increase which can help boost your own and your teams morale. We also don’t need no negative nellys on court.

The most important lesson here is do go with what suits YOUR body best. Your body will tell you when it needs water so listen to it. It might also be worth taking note of how much you drink and when you felt at your best so that you can remember for future reference

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Rose Johnston Personal Training |