Post-Game Nutrition and Recovery – An Article for the Bega Bombers

Post-Game Nutrition and Recovery

You have just played a game of footy. You have most likely ran in excess of 5 kilometres (some senior players can travel up to 18 kilometres in a game).  You will most likely have lost around a kilogram or 2 of body-weight, and sweated around a litre of fluid from the body.  So post-game nutrition is important.  What should you eat post-game?  At the end of the day, we are looking to replenish the body with nutrient dense foods and fluids.

Hydration

Think of hydration like watering the garden.  What does the garden need?  Water.  It’s that simple.  You don’t need Powerade, Gatorade or soft drinks.  You need water.  So, buy a water bottle and take it with you everywhere you go.  For those senior athletes, forgo the beer until you have finished cooling down, had a shower, and eaten.  Your body and your mind will love you more, as will the quality of your game.

https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/children/hydration-junior-sport/

Post-Game Nutrition

Here it is all about quality over quantity.  Your body may think that it needs MacDonald’s from the Drive Thru, but what it really needs is nutrient dense, calorie sparse food.  Think Chicken and salad sandwiches (you can make these the night before, and have a little esky to take with you.  Just don’t put the tomato near the bread).  Like pizza?  Well try a thin crust pizza, that is loaded with quality meat and veggies, and cheese. Carbs are also important for recovery, and protein is key for muscle growth and repair.  Supplements are just that, supplements.  They are not required, and in fact, they could harm your overall game.

 https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/factsheets/fuelling-recovery/recovery-nutrition/

https://www.sportaus.gov.au/ais/nutrition

Want do get a better understanding on what athletes actually eat?  Well, isn’t it great when you can find a link that outlines that for you?  Click below and find out.

http://www.lisamiddleton.com.au/thoughts-entries/2016/7/5/eqo28atul5zy32zzb34cb8ui95o92d

Sleep

Sleep is the most underrated recovery tool on the planet, and the easiest part of the whole process.  We should be regularly getting around 8 hours of sleep a night, and if you don’t your body develops a sleep debt.  Think of sleep like a bank.  If you want to perform well, you need adequate rest and recovery.  If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will take it when you don’t want it to.  Ever feel asleep through a movie? Fell asleep at the kitchen table?  These are signs you need to get more sleep.  Want to learn from the best and how they do it?  Click on the link…

https://www.fatiguescience.com/blog/infographic-why-athletes-should-make-sleep-a-priority-in-their-daily-training/

Injury Management

What will be the one thing that will stop you from playing week in and week out?  Well yes.  Technically not getting picked is going to stop you from playing the following week, but we need to think a little bit clearer. What about if you get a bump, or an injury from the week before, or even at training?  Little bumps, bruises, sprains are the little events, that if not managed correctly can lead to bigger problems occurring such as muscle tears, ligament strains etc.  Don’t try to be tough and say “It doesn’t hurt”.  Do you want to walk around like a 3-legged elephant?    The best course of action when you get an injury, is to report it to your coach or manager. They will be able to provide you some advice on how to manage it.  It’s your injury, so it is up to you to do the best you can for yourself and your team mates.

http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/

Winning and Losing – What is the big difference, and how do we make it better

From time to time I write articles for the local Bega Bombers AFL side.  It’s such a great club, with a strong, moral compass, which is quite refreshing in this day and age.  The Bombers were my first club that looked for my services as an Strength and Conditioning Coach, and as such, I spent 3 years with their seniors and juniors.  This is the latest article.  I hope you enjoy it.

“Winning and Losing – What is the big difference, and how do we make it better”

I know it’s a very strange title, but let’s work with it a little bit.

Have you ever won a game, and thought “How did we win this?”

Let’s reverse that then: “How did we lose that game.  We did everything right.”

Winning at the end of the day on a footy field is all about scoring more points than the other team.  That’s it.  Same rule applies to losing.  Yup. You scored less points than the opposition.  It’s not rocket science, and it doesn’t need to be.  The thing that we need to be very careful is putting winning above everything else.   As a parent, do you tell your children they had a good game, regardless if they won or lost?  Do you tell them what they did wrong, instead of what they did right?  Do you cheer for the other side when they kick a goal, or do you berate the umpire when they get the decision wrong?

This quote from Harry Sheehy sums it up.

If you win, and all you do is walk around with your chest puffed out, telling everyone that you won, and you annihilated the opposition, belittle your opposition, refuse to shake their hands because they are “losers”, do you think you are really a winner?  What about when you lose?  Does mum and dad have to put up with your poor behaviour because you lost?  Do you sit in the corner and sulk?  Do you tell people to go away, and refuse to listen to any type of conversation because you lost?

The Stanford Children’s Health has a great article on what it means to be a good sport.  After all, isn’t that what we want to be?  Don’t we want to have fun, regardless of the score?  Don’t we want to enjoy the fact we are out there playing with our friends, and against our friends.  As a parent, don’t we want our children to understand that winning isn’t everything, and neither is losing?  It’s about the enjoyment.  It’s about the learning.  It’s about the experience.  It’s about the fresh air and sunshine.  It’s about sharing a moment with your child that you may never get again.

At the School, this is what we expect from all our students.  We respect the other players.  We respect those who give up their time to coach us. We sit and listen to what others have to say. We respect the other teams, and we celebrate and congratulate at the end of the game, or the sport we play.  This is why the School got involved with the wonderful Bega Bombers, because this is you do well.  You love the game.  You respect each other, and the opposition, and the umpires and the game.

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=teaching-children-good-sportsmanship-1-4524

https://www.afl.com.au/afl-hq/laws-of-the-game

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sportsmanship.html