The head of performance for North Queensland Cowboy’s feeder rugby team, the Mackay Cutters, has described how the team’s use of THORZT in their hydration program has helped deliver improved performance outcomes.
Alex Kertesz’s role with the Cutters is to help drive the health and wellbeing of players – ensuring they are fit enough to handle the physical demands of rugby league. He described hydration as one of his “primary athlete monitoring tools”.
Having spent two seasons with the Wests Tigers and three seasons with the Waratahs in Super Rugby, Kertesz brought a wealth of experience when he joined the Cutters at the end of 2017, when he set about updating the gym and changing some of the training programs.
“There is a structure in everything we do – in the gym and on field. There is reasoning behind it, so the guys understand why we are doing things and they are accountable for their actions,” Kertesz said.
The results speak for themselves.
“The lads say they feel fitter and stronger than they ever have going into a rugby league season,” Kertesz said.
Hydration and heat stress management
Part of Kertesz’s role sees him tracking how much fluids the team are consuming and ensuring they start a training session or game fully hydrated.
“We are constantly reminding the guys to stay on top of their hydration.”
He said this is particularly important in the humidity of North Queensland which impacted Kertesz and his family when they moved to Mackay from Sydney and were not yet heat acclimatised.
“The first week or two it was very noticeable. We realised we had to pay more attention to hydration,” he said.
“The players who came from down south, they need to be educated around how important hydration and nutrition are for managing the heat” he added.
While the team do most of their training in the evenings when it is cooler, they do need to be prepared – physically and mentally – to compete in the heat of the day.
The team does not have structured pre-cooling program at the moment, however Kertesz acknowledged pre-cooling as a strategy that could help keep heat stress at bay.
He also said some players have ice baths after games or training sessions.
“The guys who have ice baths say they feel they recover better for the next training session or games.”
THORZT: Official Hydration Partner:
As hydration partner for the Cutters, THORZT provides a range of products to the team, including Sugar Free Solo Shots which Kertesz said are particularly popular among those looking to lean up.
“Too often in the commercial market, the hydration products come packed with sugar. That sugar is often not needed, while the electrolytes and amino acids are.”
“THORZT provides guilt-free hydration. Myself and all the players have been very happy with the products.”