Fuel Your Body for Best Game Performance
If you work out or play competitive sports you need to stay hydrated, so what should you drink and how much?
According to Ashley Hinze, Sports Medicine Supervisor and Certified Sports Nutritionist for CHI Health, when you sweat, you lose water which must be replaced if you want to perform your best. You need to drink fluids before, during and after all workouts and events. If the activity for an individual athlete is fairly continuous for 1 hour or longer, a sports drink is the better replacement fluid. However, if the activity lasts less than 1 hour, water is the best option. In either case, an athlete should have about 6-8 ounces of fluid replacement every 30 minutes during strenuous, continuous activity.
Eating before the big game can play a big role in your performance. Are there certain foods better than others?
Glycogen gives the muscle fuel, mainly made from carbohydrate-containing food. It’s very important that the pre-game meal is high in carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals help transform the carbs into energy, which is another important part of the pre-game meal. High fat foods will not leave the stomach or metabolize quick enough to give you energy. High sugar foods give you an initial rush of energy but leave you sluggish or irritable by game time. Eating 2-3 hours before an event is recommended. Some examples of pre game meals include: Tortilla (or bread or crackers) with almond butter and a piece of fruit; bagel with butter, almond butter or cream cheese; banana and a sandwich of some sort; for a heavier meal – some pasta and sauce
Athletes want to build muscle, is there a formula that gets you there faster?
Athletes, especially those on strength-training programs or who participate in power sports, are told that eating a ton of protein or taking protein supplements will help them gain muscle weight. However, the true secret to building muscle is training hard and consuming enough calories. While some extra protein is needed to build muscle, most American diets provide more than enough protein. A 150-pound athlete should consume about 68-102 grams of protein a day.
- Ashley Hinze
Sports Medicine Lead