By Vishal Patel
It’s not often we talk about the NFL on our blog, but just like every other athlete, football players need to hydrate too, especially in the winter. A couple weeks ago, much of the country got hit with a cold front that was tagged as the “Polar Vortex.” With temperatures reaching as low as 20 to 30 below, not only was the air cold and dry, humidity was up as well. All of these factors increase the risk for dehydration.
Something very interesting I noticed while watching the San Francisco 49ers battle the Green Bay Packers that Sunday was how little the players were paying attention to hydration. At one point the wind chill reached about 7 below in Northern Wisconsin. These conditions cause for several hydration protocols that needs to take place.
During the game a sideline reporter for the Green Bay Packers reported that the players were complaining about cramping, and that some athletic trainers have been pushing the fluids. The 49ers ended up wining the game, and hydration didn’t seem to affect them. My guess is that their trainers were smart enough to take the necessary precautions, and making sure their players were well hydrated going into the game, and monitoring hydration status throughout the game. Regardless of the time of year hydration is the key to optimal health and performance.
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