Many Los Angeles Angels players can be seen toting around 64-ounce jugs this season, thanks to a competition to see who can become the most hydrated.
Accompanying the bats, balls, and gloves in the Los Angeles Angels’ dugout this season are a line of 64-ounce containers filled with liquids in a rainbow of colors. These new additions are part of a hydration contest that has carried over from the offseason.
The Orange County Register reports that it all started with Luis Valbuena, a third baseman, drinking water supplemented with branched chain amino acids last year. Valbuena started calling his blend “Luis Juice.”
During spring training, Valbuena had an essentially perfect score on a hydration test. After that, the other players wanted to achieve similar results.
“They were pretty blown away,” Lee Fiocchi, CSCS, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Angels, said, “and that pretty much started the jugs and the Luis Juice. It’s been something that’s contagious.”
Centerfielder Mike Trout bought the 64-ounce jugs for his teammates, and they started competing to see who could be the most hydrated. The jugs are generally filled with water, and each player adds certain flavors or supplementation, as needed.
The team is emphasizing hydration for good reason. When muscles are hydrated, they are better equipped to handle quick bursts of movement. Hydration also helps players have more energy and avoid pulls and strains.
“I think a lot of teams talk about [hydration], but actually implementing it into a daily routine is something they do a really good job of, for sure,” Chris Young, an Angels outfielder, said.
The team has had a number of injuries in recent years. Having the team eager to work on hydration, due to the competition for a perfect hydration score, bodes well for continued success.
“Anytime you’re doing something that’s tedious, if you can turn it into a game, then the sustainability is much better,” Fiocchi said.
Interested in hydration? Don’t miss our article, “Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink.”
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