If you play a bit of sport at the weekend and want to gain an edge over those mouthy Sunday league full-backs here is what to do…
Even 2% dehydration can cause a loss of strength, speed and cognitive function. Get into the habit of drinking plenty of water throughout the week, and add an electrolyte such as Elete to it. Drink water instead of tea, coffee, and especially alcohol. Try and replace those break-time cups of tea with water, particularly in the two days before a game or event. On the morning of your event, drink as much water as you can tolerate. You should be peeing freely and the urine should be colourless. Immediately after the event, drink a protein shake which contain special protein and carbohydrates, but a cheap, easy substitute would be a standard milkshake.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Consuming the right pre and post event meals and snacks isn’t just for the pros. Eating the right nutrients can make a significant difference to performance and energy at any level of competition. In the two to three hours before an event try to eat some fish with wholegrain rice to give you some energy. Then try and eat something as soon as you can after exercising. I suggest always trying to have lots of fruit, nuts and seeds as snacks around you at training and competition times.”
SUGAR’S NOT SO SWEET:
Scoffing a Mars bar might seem like a good idea to give you lots of energy from sugar, but be warned. Things that are really high in sugar will upset your blood sugar and disrupt your hormones. Your brain runs on glucose, so you want good blood sugar levels, but you don’t want your blood sugar spiking really high and then crashing really low because you’ll have less glucose for your brain, which will mean your reaction times fall right down.
Fancy a quick snack? Then reach for some nuts.They are a superfood, and they’re really healthy. People always assume they’re high in fat and bad for you, but they are healthy fats, what we call essential fats that you don’t make in your body so you have to get them in your diet. These fats are very good for your brain, your nervous system, your eyes, the beta sitosterols in them lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, they lower triglycerides and they make hormones. They’re extremely useful. Nuts are also full of good protein and carbohydrate. They’re high in zinc, magnesium, and B Vitamins too and those are the kinds of vitamins you need to turn your food into energy.