Dairy Council Northern Ireland

Milk it for all it's worth

Food for football

Why is fluid important?

Fluid has a vital role in the body so drinking enough is important for good health and good performance.

Even small fluid losses can make exercise seem more difficult and affect your performance in training and matches.

Dehydration can mean:

  • poor concentration
  • slower reaction time
  • poor co–ordination
  • getting tired more quickly
  • overheating

What should you drink?

Drink a wide range of fluids: water, sugar–free dilute squash, fruit juices, milk, milkshakes, yogurt drinks, soup and sports drinks. Water will also be obtained from foods – for example, fruit and vegetables have high water content. The occasional cup of tea of coffee can be used to get fluids in too.

How much do you need?

As a general rule, if you are drinking enough you should be producing urine every couple of hours. Urine that is clear in colour and not strong in smell should mean that you are well hydrated. (If you take a vitamin supplement or sports drinks the B–vitamins can cause your urine to be a bright yellow colour.) During exercise, fluid is lost from the body as sweat and needs to be replaced. Every player has different fluid needs. These are influenced by many factors including your size, how hard you exercise, the weather and what you wear.

The easiest way to work out your usual losses from exercise is to weigh yourself before and after a training session. Any weight loss is fluid loss and this needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Remember that there will be big differences between players on the same team!
For every 1kg of weight that is lost you should aim to drink 1500mls. 

Training and matches

Drinking fluids before, during and after exercise will prevent dehydration and re–hydrate you. Sports drinks have the benefit of easily providing fuel, usually in the form of carbohydrates, and also replacing electrolytes (salts) lost through sweat. Carbohydrate is an important fuel for exercising muscles but it will also help you absorb water so long as it is at the right concentration. 


Drinking milk can be a good way of helping to get fluids back into your system. It will also give you protein and some salts to replace all these things that you have lost during your training or match. 

Remember your teeth!

Sugary and acidic drinks (fruit juices and sports drinks) can have a damaging effect on your teeth and you need to be careful. It is especially a problem if you are sipping drinks over a long period, wear a brace or a gum shield. 

To help protect your teeth:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly: you may need to consider having a toothbrush and toothpaste in your kit bag
  • Use sugar free gum to reduce the acid in your mouth
  • Rinse your mouth with water regularly
  • Drink sweet or acidic drinks through a straw or squeeze past your teeth

April 04

Our vegetable soup is super straight-forward to make, tasty and comforting

Read Tweet

April 03

If you are feeling like doing a bit of #HomeBaking, these orange buttermilk scones ar…

Read Tweet

April 02

Quick, easy and cheesy! A simple cheddar

Read Tweet

March 31

Looking for quick, tasty and easy-to-prepare recipes? We’ve highlighted some of our…

Read Tweet

March 26

RT @MariaJenningsNI: We have published important guidance for food businesses please…

Read Tweet

March 24

RT @NIfoodanddrink: @daera_ni @UFUHQ @retail_ni @MichaelAodhan @nifpo @DairyCouncilNI…

Read Tweet

March 24

RT @daera_ni: NI’s agri-food and drink sector is critical–BIG thank you to farmer…

Read Tweet

March 22

RT @BelfastTrust: Now is the time to stay at home. Our respiratory team have a clear…

Read Tweet

March 18

RT @daera_ni: DAERA Minister Edwin Poots @poots2edwin has urged consumers to buy resp…

Read Tweet

March 18

"Dairy sector needs to keep operating" - media release on our website https://t.co/tn…

Read Tweet

March 18

RT @marshall_paula: Saw this today @meaapni @MEACommNav a great idea for older people…

Read Tweet

March 16

RT @mlchealth: CV: when the health trusts are ringing patients for phone consultation…

Read Tweet

March 13

Thanks Laura, we certainly hope to reschedule for the autumn. We'll keep everyone pos…

Read Tweet

March 13

We are sorry that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, our conference has been CANCELLED. We…

Read Tweet

From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

Our primary function is to communicate factual information to allow individuals to make well informed choices about dairy products that they consume and to inform them of the benefits of including dairy products in a balanced diet. We use a wide range of media, which includes television, radio, press, and social media. Our Advertising is complemented by public relations and promotional activities designed to communicate with specific groups.

Home delivery

Contact your nearest dairy to arrange delivery

Ballyrashane Creamery

T+44 (0)28 7034 3265

This site uses cookies for general analytics but not for advertising purposes. View our privacy policy to find out more. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.