Soccer players who drink enough before a training or competition produce less of the muscle-ravaging stress hormone cortisol than players who are mildly dehydrated. And what positive effects curbing cortisol levels has, oh well, we do not have to explain that to you.
StudyChilean exercise scientists from the Universidad Finis Terrae did an experiment with 17 teenage boys. All subjects were soccer players.
The researchers divided the boys into 2 groups, and made them play a friendly match against each other.
Before the match, the researchers analyzed whether the players were optimally hydrated on the basis of the urine. Both before and after the game they took blood samples, in which they measured the concentration of the hormones testosterone and cortisol.
ResultsEight boys were mildly dehydrated. The mild dehydration had no effect on the testosterone level before and after the competition, but did result in an extra large increase in cortisol levels after the match.
Conclusion"Mild dehydration before a soccer match increases cortisol response after the match", the researchers summarize.
"These results show that the cortisol response to a soccer match is sensitive to hydration state which suggests that dehydration before a match may be an added stress to be considered."