We coaches cannot stress enough the importance of water. Purchase a water bottle and carry it with you during the school day. Water will be provided at practice, but hydration starts long before practice begins. Proper hydration for practice and meets begins the moment after the previous day’s workout. We encourage you to drink as much water as possible. Watch the amount of water that is consumed at home as well as at school, especially after practice to be sure that you are replacing what was lost.
There is great hydration information here, so please take the time to read it. Also, include plenty of sodium (salt) in your diet to help your body absorb the water you put in it.
Forget about every other question you have about nutrition until you’ve figured out how to stay hydrated.
Being smart about water intake can separate good performance from great performance.
You are mostly water. In fact, if you took the water out of a 180-pound lean body, there would be about 55 pounds left.
Because your muscles, brain, blood and sweat are mostly water, your body doesn’t work like it should when it doesn’t have enough water. You don’t think as clearly, you lose endurance and your heart works harder.
Sometimes you don’t see sweat, like when you swim. But you sweat whenever your body heats up from working out. Sweat is your body’s cooling system. Evaporation of sweat from your skin cools you down. When you sweat, you lose water from your body and that water must be replaced. Replacing the water takes a plan.
You might be thinking “What’s the big deal? Won’t drinking when I’m thirsty guarantee that I’m hydrated?” NO! During exercise humans don’t drink enough to prevent dehydration. You need to drink before you’re thirsty and continue even after you no longer feel thirsty.
Forget about the old rule of drinking 8 glasses per day. Your probably need more than that on most days. Counting the glasses you drink is only one way of tracking what you need.
A better way of making sure you’re hydrated is to check your body weight before and after practice. For accuracy, weigh in minimal clothing if there’s privacy, and afterwards, change out of sweaty clothing before you weigh. The weight lost during practice or competition is not fat, it’s water. To replace the water lost, drink one pint of fluid for every pound you lost (one pint = 16 ounces = 500 ml = 1⁄2 liter). It is critical to replace the water loss as quickly as possible. Before your next workout, your weight should be back up to normal.
If you can’t check your weight, pay attention to your body for signs of dehydration.
Your mouth should not be dry. Your urine should be lemon-colored most of the time. More than one episode of dark yellow urine is a warning sign that you don’t have much reserve (exception: vitamins supplements can turn your urine yellow-orange, even if you are hydrated). Loss of appetite, stomachaches, and muscle cramps can be other warning signals of dehydration.
Drink before, during, and after working out. Drink a pint or so of fluid a few hours before exercise. This will help make sure you are hydrated and give you enough time to urinate if you need to beforehand.
Keep drinking during exercise, and don’t worry about getting too much fluid. If you’re sweating, your body needs a constant supply. Your stomach might gurgle, but your body will absorb and use the fluid. Feeling sick and cramping has been blamed on too much water when in fact, stomachaches and muscle cramps are usually signs of not drinking enough fluid.
Drinking fluids after workouts is extremely important. Even when drinking fluids during a workout, many athletes become dehydrated. Athletes working out in the heat for several hours can lose 10 pounds, that’s almost a gallon of water.
When you have figured out how to stay hydrated, especially when you sweat heavily, you have accomplished the single most important performance-enhancing aspect of nutrition.
WATER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENT!
Six Reasons to Drink Up
Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Research shows that drinking a glass of water before meals curbs appetite, helping you eat less and become more satisfied.
Water speeds up metabolism. Research has shown that an increase in water consumption leads to an increase in the rate in which people burn calories as opposed to storing them as fat.
Water cleanses the body of toxins. Water improves your blood circulation flushing out toxins and impurities. It also increases water in your skin cells, which helps to get rid of wrinkles, and helps you look younger.
Water boosts your energy. Dehydration leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all your bodily organs, making you more tired and less alert. By staying hydrated you stay energized.
Water helps build muscle tone. Water acts a lubricant around your muscle and joints which helps prevent against cramping, allowing you to work out harder and longer.
Water reduces stress. Studies have shown that dehydration leads to higher cortisol levels—the stress hormone—making it harder to deal with everyday issues. By staying hydrated you will be better equipped to deal everyday problems.
A well-balanced diet is an asset for any individual and especially an athlete. Any nutritional changes should occur gradually. On meet days high fat and fried food, eggs, and carbonated and acidic beverages (pop) should be avoided. Also, limit intake of dairy products on meet days. They can cause digestive discomfort.
Take advantage of easily digestible foods in low quantities. Water intake should not be limited. Generally, the last intake of food should be 3-4 hours prior to the start of a race or practice. Recognize that each individual has different nutritional needs. Go into a race on the hungry side, the opposite can be detrimental. We as coaches cannot stress enough the importance of water. We encourage you to carry a water bottle during the school day. This will help you stay hydrated. Gatorade is helpful after a run or workout to help replace electrolytes the body lost during a workout or race.
We also recommend that you take a multivitamin with calcium and iron supplements. These will help ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs.
BASIC FOOD RULES TO FOLLOW:
1) Eat broiled, boiled, or baked foods. Avoid fried foods.
2) Do not over-eat
3) Eat three meals a day as well as small snacks to help keep your
4) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
5) Take a multivitamin with calcium & iron supplements
6) Drink plenty of water
MEET DAY MEALS (Avoid sugars and fats) BREAKFAST: Fruit or Fruit Juice
Toast or whole grain cereal with fruit
Low-fat or skim milk & Water LUNCH: Salad (light or no dressing)
Bread or other starch, such as potatoes Small amount of meat or cheese
Eat your pre-meet meal at least 2-3 hours before warm-ups.
POST-MEET MEAL: Protein (meat or poultry) Juice or Low-fat or skim milk
SNACKS: Fruit, crackers, cheese, veggies, milk, water, juice, pretzels, granola bars, power bars.
THE BEST ENERGY FOODS FOR ATHLETES
Cantaloupe Asparagus Low-Fat Cheese Lamb
Fruit Kabob Milk-based Soups Lettuce
Sweet Potato Lean Roast Beef Tofu
Baked Potato Chips
Buckwheat Pasta Mackerel
Top-Round Ground Beef Nuts
Whole-wheat Pasta Sardines Strawberries Broccoli
Low-Fat Yogurt Chicken Peanut Butter
Proper shoe selection is an important part of the prevention of injury. Forces greater than three to five times your body weight will be placed on your feet and dissipated up your legs when you run. The right running shoe will accommodate the needs of the individual runner and can help enhance performance. If possible, go to a store that deals primarily with running or a specific salesperson that is an experienced runner.
When you go to this type of store be sure to take in your old running shoes, this will give the salesperson important information on how you run. Shoes should not be purchased based on style, but based on size, shoe width, running style, and type of running shoe (training vs. racing). For a beginning runner, there are shoes that can serve both for training and racing.
Sprinters and hurdlers are encouraged to purchase a pair of racing spikes. To be competitive at our level it is a must. You should also have a different pair of shoes for training and general conditioning. Field event athletes may want to consider purchasing a shoe designed for their specific event(s). For example a long/triple jumper, high jumper, and pole-vaulter would be encouraged to get a pair of spikes to help with traction in their approach runs. A thrower would be encouraged to get a pair of shoes designed for the throwing events. They tend to have a smooth sole, which helps with the movements needed in the ring for those specific events.
GUIDELINES TO FIND THE BEST FIT:
· Shop in the afternoon to get the right fit.
· Try on both shoes with the same type of sock to be worn during practice & competition.
· Try on several different models to make a good comparison. Walk or jog around the store in the shoes.
· The sole should flex where your foot flexes. Look for shoes with removable insoles to accommodate orthotics.
· Allow a half-inch between the end of the shoe and your longest toe when you stand up.
· The heel counter should fit snugly so that there is no slipping at the heel.
· Shoes should be comfortable on the day you buy them. Don’t rely on a break-in-period.