The chairman of the Gaelic Games Doctors’ Association (GGDA) hopes common sense will prevail in terms of hydration protocols in this weekend’s championship games, revealing player could lose “4 or 5% of their bodyweight” in these sweltering conditions.
With the country in the grip of a heatwave, Dr Danny Mulvihill, last night warned of the importance of footballers and hurlers having regular access to fluids during matches.
According to some research, fluid loss exceeding 3-5% bodyweight reduces aerobic performance and impairs reaction time, judgment, concentration and decision making.
Currently players must come to the sideline to receive liquids while water carriers must wait for a stoppage in play before entering the field of play.
Dr Mulvhill said: “With this exceptional weather, it is vital that players are properly hydrated before and during the games.
“The rules that are in place (in relation to water carriers) are more of a nuisance than anything else most of the time but it becomes an issue in temperatures like this.
“Hopefully common sense will prevail in terms of how and when players can receive fluids in the course of matches over the weekend.
“I’m sure referees will be glad of a few breaks also.”
Dr Mulvihill said failure to properly rehydrate will impact on a player’s performance levels.
“A top player, in these conditions could lose 4 or 5% of their bodyweight in a session or a match.
“That then leads to a massive drop in performance in the last 15 minutes of a match.
“So it is vital for the player and the team that they have access to water whenever they need it over the weekend.
“And this just doesn’t apply to the inter-county players heading into the championship games, the same advice should be followed by every player or sports person this weekend.
“There has been a massive increase in dehydration and sunstroke in general in the last few days.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved