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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.