|Hot weather is upon us and I notice players bringing only eight ounces of water to the courts. I come with 80 ounces of electrolyte replacement, a cooling towel, a sun protection umbrella and an extra water bottle to pour on myself between games. Think this is too much? I go through all of it before I leave the courts. First, water is just not enough in hot weather. So, I drink vegetable juice mixed with water and ice. The juice drink has plenty of salt and potassium — and I can pronounce all the ingredients. I add pomegranate juice and water for more potassium and some sugar in the other bottle. I’m not in favor of Gatorade or other drinks like that because of the 14 teaspoons of sugar in each bottle. The sugar free has lots of additives and stuff I cannot pronounce. I was a hot weather long distance runner for years. We wore lightweight cotton shirts that we kept wet during the entire run. Carrying the water with you on the shirt helps the body stay cool. I don’t sweat, I just overheat. Make sure you eat something before you play and if you stay at the courts for hours keep eating in small amounts. If you eat, your stomach is turned on and uses the water you are drinking. If you don’t eat, your stomach turns off so blood can oxygenate your arms and legs and lungs, but you don’t digest the water you are drinking, so you are getting dehydrated while drinking water. Think — you are a pickleball athlete. Treat yourself like one — be smart, stay cool.