Last week, America celebrated opening day of our national pastime. Major League Baseball’s 2019 season is underway—bringing with it all of the nostalgia, excitement, friends and good old-fashioned fun that makes a trip to the ballpark so enjoyable. The new season also brings a powerful lesson about the vital necessity of water, which comes into play in almost every aspect of a baseball game—for the manicured grass, the concession stands, the restrooms, and even to wash the uniforms, manufacture the seats, and provide the electricity for night games. It’s even vital to make the ketchup for your hot dog!
But today, instead of taking this all-encompassing view—which, I feel most of our Water Street readers can develop on their own—I’d like to focus solely on water’s essential role in terms of the players. Without water, players would never be able to take the field, let alone have what it takes to play the game. Can you imagine getting to the ballpark and just staring at an empty diamond, as both teams just sit in the dugout, lacking the energy to play ball?
Many of us take for granted how essential water is to the human body—and how essential it is to building and maintaining the muscles and stamina that allow a ballplayer to swing the bat, round the bases, snare a line drive, slide headfirst into home, hurl that fastball over the plate, dash for that fly ball … well, you get my point! Next time you watch your favorite team take the field, consider what water enables those players to do.
- Live and breathe: Without water, the cells that are the body’s building blocks wouldn’t exist.
- React: Water is essential to brain-body communications that, for example, allow a batter to swing at the right time, or a shortstop to perfectly time his jump to catch a line drive. Drinking enough water also improves concentration.
- Stay cool: Water regulates body temperature, preventing the risk of cramping and fatigue, as well as improves performance.
- Convert food to energy: From eating pasta the night before to energy bars a few hours before game time, none of the dietary strategies ball players ball use to stay energized would work without water.
- Protect themselves: Water acts as a “shock absorber” for the brain and spinal cord—an important asset when sliding into second, for example.
- Keep loose: Water also lubricates the joints, improving agility that is essential, whether you’re playing catcher or running bases.
- Power up: Muscles simply wouldn’t work (or even exist!) without water. Because water carries oxygen to muscle cells, it allows muscles to work longer and harder—and helps build muscle.
Although we never see it, water is hard at work internally for every player. It determines how well he performs and, ultimately, if our ballgame experience is a strikeout or a homerun!