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Dangers of dehydration
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Tim Henman works up a sweat in the heat
BBC Sport Academy looks at why it is so important for players to take on fluid during sport.

Few people realise just how important it is to drink enough liquid before playing in a match.

But, every World Cup player - from David Beckham to Luis Figo - was lectured at length about how to deal with the intense heat before embarking on the plane to Japan and Korea 2002.

Unless you are fully aware of the risks and take the necessary precautionary measures, playing football in hot climates can lead to real problems.

Freddie Ljungberg
Freddie: Takes on some water

Players can get heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes when they play in hot climates.

Most of these problems are triggered by dehydration.

When the World Cup was held in USA, Republic of Ireland striker Tommy Coyne nearly ended up in a coma because he was so dehydrated.

Dehydration occurs when there is excessive loss of water from the body due to fluid deprivation.

If you have ever experienced extreme tiredness during a match or become dizzy and uncoordinated, then this is probably because you were dehydrated.

The simple solution is to drink much more water.

Five pints

In this year's World Cup, the players were recommended to drink over six pints of water in the build-up to the game to avoid dehydrating.

This may seem excessive but you can lose up to three pints of water in just one half.

Darren Clarke
Clarke: Drinks are par for the course in golf

Fifa were so concerned about the threat of dehydration in Japan and Korea, that they considered having four quarters instead of two halves in a match.

A number of top coaches, including England's Sven-Goran Eriksson, felt the interruptions would help combat dehydration.

In the end the idea was thrown out - but referees were encouraged to allow players the chance to drink water if there were ever breaks in play.

But a hot climate, like that in Japan and Korea, can have a massive impact on the level of performance.

So, if you thought someone played below par during the finals, it was probably because they didn't prepare themselves properly - be warned.

Dehydration tips
Am I OK?
Water works

Avoiding dehydration
Drink fluids before game
Avoid high carbohydrate drinks

Dehydration symptoms
Poor co-ordination

:: Appliance of science

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