If you play football, you’ll know what it feels like to sweat. But how do you make sure that getting sweaty during training or a game doesn’t leave you feeling drained of energy?

The Sydney Swans’ dietician, Elise Anderson, has some tips for our Swans Academy players and all young footballers.

Fluid loss and sweating are a natural part of exercise and sports performance. They’re evidence that you’re working hard. 

But what goes out, must come in. Staying hydrated and replacing the fluid lost through sweating is critical if you want to play well.

When you sweat you lose water and that can be measured in your bodyweight.

If you lose just 2% of your bodyweight from sweating, we begin to see adverse effects on your concentration and your decision-making ability. If you can’t concentrate or make good decisions, then it’s much harder to put in a solid training session or game performance.

As the sweat and bodyweight losses get bigger, so does the impact on your performance. Next you’ll start to feel physical effects – your endurance, strength and power will all be reduced. As you’d know if you’re in the Academy, they’re all very important when playing football.

But a lot of players, both junior and senior, find it a challenge to take in enough fluid to stay at their best. They might guzzle water on game day, but that doesn’t make up for what has happened in the days leading up to a game.

How can you make sure you’re taking in enough fluid to play well? One of the first steps is to be well hydrated before you actually start training or playing a game.

The best way to do that is to make an effort to meet the recommended daily fluid requirements every day.

For an athlete or footy player, the minimum amount of fluid you should be having every day is based on your weight.

So, how much do you weigh? For every kilogram, you should be taking in 35ml of fluid per day. For example, if you weigh 50 kilograms, you should be taking in 50x35mls = 1750mls (1.75litres) of fluid every day – at least. That’s nearly two large bottles of water.

But that figure is the starting point – that’s just what you should have on the average day. If you’ve really sweated at training, then you need to drink more to replace that fluid loss too.

Making sure you’re well hydrated after training, and in the days leading up to a game, is vital if you want to be best on ground on the weekend.

So drink up – not just on training or game days, but every day!