Last Updated: Sep 22nd, 2010
Did you know that chocolate milk provides excellent muscle recovery, or cherry juice helps with aches and pains, or that excessive cola consumption can lead to problems with your muscles?
We have heard how important it is to stay hydrated when exercising, but there is more to it then fluid intake. Of equal impoartance is what you drink and when you drink it. Different beverages have been proven to aid in recovery, help with cramps, boost energy and keep you hydrated. But if you drink them at the wrong time during your workout, you may actually be hurting your performance. Read more...
It is true that caffeine can improve athletic performance without impairing the body's temperature regulation or hydration. Energy drinks typically contain 80 mg (or more) of caffeine including those from herbal sources.
Research has shown that even relatively small doses of caffeine (70-150 mg), taken one hour before exercise, can enhance reaction time, concentration and alertness, and improve performance in both endurance events (over 20 minutes) and short high intensity events (1-5 minutes). The effects of caffeine on the body are not yet fully understood, but it appears to stimulate the central nervous system, reduce the perceived effort of exercise and enhance muscle fibre contraction.
Caffeine is a performance enhancing supplement that you need to discuss with your coach or doctor and try with caution during training. Read more...
Recovery nutrition is important for when complete physical recovery between workouts may not be possible such as when you have two workouts in one day. It's also important for long workouts and strength workouts where the goal is to build muscle. Recovery nutrition includes refueling muscles and liver with stored carbohydrates (glycogen), rehydrating and restoring electrolyte balance, making new muscle protein and boosting the immune system to be able to handle the stresses of training.
There is substantial evidence that supports eating a recovery snack within the first 15-30 minutes after training to enhance muscle glycogen recovery. This is frequently referred to as the "window of opportunity" for refueling. The amount of carbohydrate recommended is between 1-1.5g/kg body weight. For example, a 140lb (64kg) athlete should aim for 60-90g of carbohydrate which could come from a smoothie with a large banana, 1 cup of plain yogurt and 1 cup of orange juice. These snacks or meals should be repeated every 2 hours until normal meal patterns resume as part of your overall food intake. Sufficient carbohydrate intake after exercise may also help enhance the immune system. Intense training may suppress the immune system, which can place athletes at higher risk for illness and infection. Having adequate carbohydrate intake before, during and after training is thought to promote a healthy immune system by reducing stress hormone responses to exercise and supplying glucose to white blood cells.
Athlete training is a cycle of muscle breakdown followed by repair. Muscle breakdown occurs during the training when muscle tissue and is damaged. Muscle repair occurs during the recovery phase which is highlighted by the increase in the anabolic (building) processes. This cycle can occur in both strength and endurance training. Consuming amino acids in the form of protein-rich foods in the recovery period can enhance muscle protein rebuilding. Athletes should consume 10g to 20g of high quality protein within the first hour after exercise. This should be combined with carbohydrate not only for the reasons mentioned previously, but also to stimulate insulin secretion which can help enhance the rebuilding process further. While many athletes feel protein is the most important part of recovery nutrition, it is relatively small compared to carbohydrate needs. While supplements can be used, obtaining 10 to 20g of protein from food is simple and likely to provide greater overall nutrition. Water alone will not suffice to replace lost electrolytes and rehydrate the body properly. The major electrolyte lost in sweat is sodium and athletes should take this into consideration when planning recovery hydration, particularly if they sweat heavily or know themselves to be salty sweaters.
Information provided by 'Personal Best Health & Performance'
Remaining well hydrated is very important especially during the summer months and for anyone participating in physical activity. Dehydration can lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches and sluggishness, resulting in loss of playing time and a decrease in performance. When it comes to hydration there are many things to consider: Which is better water or sports drinks? Are there times when one is better then the other? How do you determine how much to drink? Is it possible to over-hydrate yourself? And does a hydration strategy change with age? Read More
If so, NWT Soccer would like to introduce Angela Pace. Angela works as a physiotherapist in Yellowknife and and has extensive experience working with soccer injuries in the UK. She worked as the physiotherapist for the Bristol City Football Club in the English championship league, treated several international players, and has worked within the academy with players aging from 8-18.
Angela is interested in being involved with soccer in the NWT and has volunteered to lend her expertise to help our northern soccer teams. She specializes in fitness testing, rehabilitation and injury prevention and is available to answer any simple questions you may have. If you're an injured player and you're wondering what kind of fitness and skill development to do to stay in shape and maintain you're training, please contact Angela by e-mail.
Do you think you have what it takes to play soccer at the highest level? Try out this 6-week program that our Canada Summer Games athletes must undergo in preparation for their journey to play against other national teams.
Northwest Territories Soccer Association - http://www.nwtkicks.ca