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You Could Probably Hydrate Better

Are you ready to smash it on the court and dominate your opponents? Well, you better make sure you're properly hydrated. You can't win if you are exhausted and lightheaded.

We all know that staying hydrated is essential for peak performance, but did you know that pickleball has its own hydration challenges?

Fear not, because in this guide we'll dive into the world of hydration supplements and how they can give you the boost you need to crush your competition. So grab your paddle, sip on some water (for now), and let's get into it!

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Proper hydration is essential in pickleball.

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and reduced performance, which can negatively impact a player's reaction time, endurance, and overall play in warm weather and tough games.

Proper hydration also protects pickleball players' joints and muscles. When the body is dehydrated, the joints and muscles become more vulnerable to injury, which can lead to pain, swelling and stiffness.

Just a couple minor adjustments to your hydration routine (beyond just periodically drinking water) will keep you feeling great during and after pickleball sessions.

First Tip: Drink before you feel thirsty.

Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of hydration, so it's important to drink water throughout the day, even when you don't feel thirsty.

A good rule of thumb is to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Below is a hydration guide for a pickleball player who plays for a couple hours.

Before the session:

  • Drink at least 16-20 ounces of water 2-3 hours before the match to ensure proper hydration levels before you start playing.

  • Avoid drinking excessive caffeine or sugary drinks, as these can dehydrate you.

During the session:

  • Drink at least 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during the match to keep up with fluid loss through sweat. Take 2-3 decent sips between each game.

  • Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, such as dizziness or muscle cramps. If you experience any of these symptoms, pause and get fluids immediately.

  • Have an insulated water bottle with you on the court. Here is one of our favorite ones:

Water bottles on pickleball court

After the match:

  • Informal rule of thumb: Drink 16-24 ounces (2-3 cups) of water for each pound of body weight lost during the session to amply replenish fluids lost through sweat.

  • Consider adding a hydration supplement (such as Nuun) to your water to help replenish sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes lost through sweat. There are also ones designed to be taken before a session, such as the Jigsaw Pickleball Cocktail.

  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol after the match. Or don't!

Pro tip: Consume electrolytes with water.

Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium are essential for hydration and can help prevent cramping and fatigue. These are our favorite electrolyte supplements that have quite favorable reviews from pickleball players:

Hydration supplement packet

Everyone's hydration needs are different, so listen to your body and adjust your hydration routine as needed.

In general, drink more than you think you need.

It's important to note though that the term "hydration" is not just about drinking water, but also about having the proper electrolytic balance, as well as a healthy, balanced diet (high in water content).

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By incorporating these tips in your hydration routine, you can help ensure you are properly hydrated for optimal performance during pickleball games. This will help to improve your endurance, reaction time, and overall health, all while reducing your risk of injury.

Additionally, you will not feel as groggy and beat-down after playing, and these practices will keep you healthier and better able to enjoy the game in the long-run.

Two insulated bottles we recommend are made by KAAYA and Super Fly Goods, which cater to pickleball players.

Black hydro flask water bottle

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