It’s July, hopefully the sun is still shining, and one of the world’s biggest sporting events is underway – Wimbledon.
While water at Wimbledon usually hits the headlines for the wrong reasons, with a rain-free fortnight a rarity, water is really a background superstar.
With long hours of play, heat (between the rain showers!) and physical exertion depleting athletes’ hydration and energy levels, drinking water helps to keep tennis players match fit.
Whether it is in the form of ready-mixed sports drinks, or freshly filtered tap water, regularly keeping hydration levels topped up is essential to an athlete’s performance.
And it’s not just the players that need to keep drinking water at Wimbledon, the thousands of fans who turn up each day also need to be careful to stay hydrated as well as enjoying the strawberries and cream.
This year’s Wimbledon has seen temperatures soaring, hitting 31C on the first Thursday, with conditions so uncomfortable a number of spectators fainted. Concerns about the welfare of fans promoted St. John’s Ambulance to issue a reminder to stay safe by seeking shade, applying sun cream and drinking water.
What do players drink to hydrate at Wimbledon?
With matches stretching out for hours at a time, tennis players need stamina. High intensity exercise, particularly in the heat, causes the body to sweat as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature increase.
The more fluid that is lost, the more the athletes need to replace. As well as fluid, sweat also causes the body to lose salt and electrolytes. To meet these demands on their bodies, athletes refuel with both drinking water and a specially-mixed (quite often secret recipe) drink that helps to replace lost minerals – electrolytes – that are essential to hydration.
Queues, camping and drinking water
With tickets for Wimbledon drawn by ballot ahead of the tournament, fans desperate to see a slice of centre court action go to extreme lengths to head up the queue for the limited passes available on the day.
Thousands of fans join the daily queue for tickets, with many camping overnight to secure tickets for Centre Court, Court 1 or Court 2. Again drinking water will top their list of basic needs – sat out in the sun for hours (or rain possibly) staying hydrated will be vital. With a doubtful source of water it might be advisable to pack a portable filter to ensure access to fresh, clean drinking water.
Don’t let drinking water cost the Earth
With large-scale events, such as Wimbledon – where nearly half a million people visit across the fortnight, it is important to consider the environmental footprint.
With 230,000 bottles of water being brought on site, drinking tap water from a re-usable container will help to cut down on cost, waste and the price to the environment – and you will be prepared ahead of any long queues
If you are planning on attending a major sporting event this summer, play it safe and take plenty of filtered drinking water and keep your bottle topped up.