Maintaining hydration is important for optimal performance on the court. Hydration helps in the following ways:

  • Muscle and Cells: A hydrated cell is happy and recovers more quickly after training.
  • Body Temperature Regulation: The body regulates its temperature and cools efficiently when hydrated.
  • Brain Function: When optimally hydrated, the brain makes quick decisions on the court.

Hydration is individual; what works for one athlete may not be appropriate for another. Use these recommendations as a starting point and adjust to develop your individual hydration plan.


Hydration Recommendations

Type of TrainingHydration RecommendationsSports Drink?
Off dayDrink to thirstNot needed
One practice session; 1-3 active hoursNon-practice hours: Drink to thirst. In the two hours leading up to practice, drink 1-2 cups of water.

During practice: Drink to thirst with a goal of maintaining body weight within 2-3% of pre-practice weight.

Yes, if: 1) practice is at a continuous high intensity for longer than one hour; or 2) the meal before training was longer than three hours before practice.
Two or more practice sessions or matchesNon-practice hours: Drink to thirst. In the two hours leading up to practice, drink 1-2 cups of water.

During practice: Drink to thirst with a goal of maintaining body weight within 2-3% of pre-practice weight.

Between practices: Restore any fluid lost during practice by drinking 1-2 cups per hour.

Yes, if: 1) practice is at a continuous high intensity for longer than one hour; or 2) the meal before training was longer than three hours before practice.

A sports drink can serve as a source of carbohydrates if you’re unable to eat between matches or practice sessions.


But how do you know if you’re getting enough to drink? Is there a way to know if you’re hydrating effectively? The answer is yes – by completing a hydration assessment.

Complete a hydration assessment for yourself

Recognize how much water you drink throughout the day and during practice by keeping track of the number of water bottles you finish.

Step 1: Choose a water bottle to drink from throughout the day, and at practice; identify how much water it holds.
Step 2: Put several rubber bands around the base of your water bottle.
Step 3: Every time you refill the bottle, move a rubber band to the top.
Step 4: Do some math! For example, if you drink and fill a 32-ounce water bottle three times in a day, you’ve consumed 96 ounces of water.
Step 5: Check in with your urine! Both urine color and frequency of peeing are an easy way to check hydration status.

  • If you pee infrequently (longer than four hours between bathroom stops) and your urine is dark yellow in color, you are probably not drinking enough and are most likely dehydrated.
  • If you must urinate often (more than once an hour), and your urine is clear, you are most likely overhydrating.

Based on your total water consumption, urine color and pee frequency, you can identify if you are drinking enough water to maintain a hydrated state. If you regularly fall in the infrequent and dark-colored pee category, add 1-2 cups of water at meal times.

The goal is not to drink as much water as possible. Find the sweet spot between being dehydrated and over-hydrated, and maintain those drinking habits daily.

Increasing your fluid intake

“Spice” up your water. Add flavor to plain water by slicing citrus fruits like oranges, lemons or limes, and add them to your water bottle.

Make a smoothie. Fruits and vegetables are primarily water. A smoothie, or just a piece of fruit, can be a snack between matches or practice and increase water intake.

Keep a water bottle with you at all times.

Beach volleyball tips

  • When packing for an all-day tournament, bring enough water for the full day.
  • Have an insulated water bottle that keeps your liquid cool.
  • Snack on fruit between matches for quick energy and extra hydration.

Managing hot and humid outdoor temperatures

  • Blend ice and water or ice and a sports drink into a slushee consistency. Keep it in an insulated water bottle to sip on before and between matches to keep cool.