Ok, for today’s tip, in honor of Football two-a-days EVERYWHERE (especially since I was taking part in them with my job today in 100+ degree temps) it’s all about nutrition and hydration.
Nutritionally, I have a super example for you. I was having to tend to a couple of athletes going through some signs of heat illness and through my history questions I ask, I find that 2 of them did not eat breakfast, and one of those two hadn’t eaten since lunch the previous day! Now, I am sure most of you reading this realize that you must have a certain amount of calories daily for basic body function. For me, before I began exercising regularly, it was 1500 or so. That is just for your body, all the non-voluntary muscles in your cardiovascular system, your digestive system, and every other system that runs smoothly in the background that you are only aware of if there is a problem. All the rest of the calories go to voluntary muscle fuel, just doing day-to-day things like walking from the chair to the kitchen, or doing a workout.
So imagine not having any supplemental energy from food in your body for your activities, and then not have the energy it takes to run your body’s multiple systems… It’s a scary thing. Your body has to draw energy from somewhere. And you would think it would just come straight from storages places like the spare tire people try to get rid of. Alas, it is not true. It will gather some from fat stores, but your body will also break down cells, like muscle cells, for energy. This in turn will cause many problems like electrolyte imbalances, muscle atrophy, hypertension, kidney failure, heart attack… Obviously what no body wants.
Just take the advice I gave today to these athletes. DO NOT EVER skip breakfast when you know you have to do strenuous activity, like football practice. Same goes for those doing workouts like P90X. Plyo, on an empty stomach? You might pass out!
Now the other knucklehead I had to care for was dehydrating. Why? Well again through my history gathering, he had been drinking energy drinks before and nothing but sodas the day before. DIURETICS! (Among other things) They dehydrate more than they rehydrate, unlike some claims from major soda companies. So this is a short tip: DRINK YOUR WATER!!! People survived for thousands and thousands of years on water, I am pretty sure it can keep you around too.
In conclusion, be sure to eat well, and for those of us doing extra activities like football practice, or working out, get some extra calories in you. And DRINK the H2O! You may not be exercising in the 100+ degree temps, but everyone who exercises can benefit from these tips.