The Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) has its latest study out, suggesting that dehydration can impair a basketball player's performance. According to research with Penn State professors, two percent dehydration can lead to as much as a six percent decrease in shooting percentage.
"The findings from this research suggest that hydration can be a real competitive edge for those players and teams who are able to employ an effective hydration strategy," said Larry Kenney, the study's lead researcher.
So what does a six percent decrease in shooting percentage mean -- they say 14 less points, which exceeds the NBA average per point differentiatial (10.43 points per game). So it seems that they are claiming that dehydration essentially could be the difference between winning and losing. If that's true, someone should come up with some intravenous needle that automatically hydrates athletes as they get dehydrated.