Do korfball players like to drink?

Author: Tamara Siemieniuk, Poland National Korfball Squad

The human body consists of 65% of water. Every single cell needs this liquid to survive, process and make energy. The most shocking percentage is that if it drops by just 2% of dehydration leads the athlete to impaired performance and weaker cognitive functions. Further more, if it was to drop between 15%-25% it can cause even death.

The need of liquids depends on the physical of the player and playing conditions:
weight, height, physical activity, temperature they are performing in. In general, we should drink between 1,5-2 litres of WATER per day. Juice, milk, tea, coffee and other drinks which are not plain water can be ingested up to 0,5l. To help you count how many glasses of water you should drink per day to stay hydrated, you can follow this rule:

weight (kg) :8 = glasses of water per day (for instance 70 kg : 8 = 8,75 glasses).

The recomendations of International Olympic Committee says that athletes should drink between 300-800 ml of water 15 minutes before training which lasts longer than 30 min. If training/match takes more than one hour they advise to fill up energy storage, not by plain water, but by ingesting carbohydrates which increase blood glucose (sports drinks: 4-8g carbohydrate/100ml). Additionally, players should consume 3-4g of sodium while taking part in exercise longer than 1- 2 hours or in a hot climate due to deprivation through sweat.

Small doses of caffeine (100-200 mg = 1-2 cups of brewed coffee or 0,75-1,5l of cola) can enchance performance during very long exercises, such as all day tournaments where you play few matches spread over time.

After physical activity you should drink 1,2-1,5 l of fluid for each lost kilogram of your body. If you suffer with cramps after exercise then look for sport drinks which consist of 300-500 mg Natrium per 500 ml.

Answering the question: "Do korfball players like to drink?" - they do. Nevertheless, timing, quality and quantity probably demand amendments. From a nutritional point of view it is better to play 4 quarters than 2 halves of play as there is more opportunities to take onboard fluids.

Bibliography
  1. Food Fact Sheet; BDA The Association of UK Dietitians; 2017
  2. Nutrition for Athletes. A practical guide to eating for health and performance; Nutrition Working Group of the Medical and Scientific Commission of the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne 2016
  3. AIS Sports Supplement Framework. Sports drinks; Australian Sports Commision, 2017

Simplified rules:

# keep your body hydrated and drink water before being thirsty. Feeling of thirst is already condition of mild dehydration.
# drink between meals (not during eating)

# make a homemade izotonic: 1 liter of water + 1/4 teaspoon of salt + 3 tablespoons of honey + juice from 1 citron/orange

Before match/training
  • start your session being well hydrated
  • 15min before - drink around 2 glasses of water
During match/training
  • drink a few sips of isotonic drink (6-8% of carbohydrate) every 15min of training/match
  • drink caffeine beverages in the later stages of prolonged exercise
After match/training
  • drink around 1l of hypertonic drink right after physical activity (ingredients: electrolytes as sodium and carbohydrate 8-10%)
  • for cramps: drink sport drinks with higher sodium level