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Fuel Soccer Talk: Rapinoe honored with Ballon d’Or; Water is still an athlete’s go-to beverage; The best of Messi 2019

Rapinoe Wins Ballon d’Or as World’s Best Player

There are plenty of good role models out there – especially in soccer. But you can’t go wrong with Megan Rapinoe.

Rapinoe on Monday was named winner of the women’s Ballon d’Or award as the world’s top female soccer player of 2019, while Lionel Messi captured the men’s honor for a record sixth time. She led the United States to a World Cup title in July, scoring six goals in the tournament which helped her earn the Golden Boot as the competition’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as top player.

France Football magazine has been awarding the Ballon d’Or since 1956 and created a women’s award for the first time last year when Norway’s Ada Hegerberg won it. Rapinoe beat Lucy Bronze and Alex Morgan to claim the prize.

A day after scoring his 614th career goal for Barcelona, Messi reclaimed the men’s trophy he last won in 2015.

Health Watch: The best beverage is as easy as H2O

When travelling or attending a sporting event or any other activity, one beverage stands out above the rest. And it’s as easy as H2O.

“Water is best,” said Amber Yudell, team sports dietitian at Arizona State University. “It may be tempting to limit drinking when traveling if taking bathroom breaks will be tough, but athletes should always have a water bottle with them and hydrate early and often throughout the day to maximize hydration before activity and limit potential performance deficits.”

Yudell says drinks such as 100 percent juice and milk do in fact contribute to hydration, and they also provide calories and nutrients that can keep athletes energized and recovered.

Erika Sharp, director of nutrition for Pro/Elite Sports, has a formula athletes should follow when it comes to drinking water. “Aim for ½ – 1 ounce per pound per day, for the 120 pound athlete, that’s about 60 – 120 oz (2-4 liters) per day,” she says. “Preventing dehydration can be a huge performance booster as it improves energy levels, speed, lateral movement and accuracy.”

Highlight Reel: Lionel Messi in 2019

Speaking of Messi, here are some of the reasons he was named the best player in the world!

Send story ideas and comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net