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Hydration = More than just water!

More Than Water

First, while water is good, a drink with a little sodium, potassium, chloride and other elements is absorbed faster by the intestine than pure water. This puts more water into the blood faster.

Don't overdo the salts, though - So stay away from soda after practices or games.

How much to drink?  *Structured hydration 'pre-game' consists of  a regular water intake at specified intervals. 1 cup of water every 2 hours before a match.    **During the exercise - replenish lost fluids/electrolytes with an approved sports drink.  ***Post game re-hydration is equally important, finish that sports drink even though you may feel like you don't need it now!!  Then eat a carb healthy meal.


The Need for Protein

There is an increased breakdown of protein during exercise. This damage is structural, and the body's structural building materials are proteins.

Most disrupted cellular processes begin repair as soon as the stressor is removed. Protein consumed during exercise may help speed recovery following exercise. Plus, during extended exercise, protein can provide up to 20 percent of the muscle's energy needs.

Thus, a little protein during and after work is a good idea. But don't interpret this to mean a triple cheeseburger is recommended. Just a little sports bar, granola or oats to get the process started.

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Take Your Vitamins

Selected vitamins--C and E in particular--can help minimize the breakdown of protein and also speed up recovery times.

So, getting some C and E during and after exercise is appropriate.

Load Up on Carbs 

Where have you heard this one before??

The energy for games like soccer comes mostly from stored carbohydrates. When a player finishes a game, the carbohydrate fuel in the muscles (glycogen) can be very near empty, meaning the player is fatigued. However, if some carbs are taken in during exercise, the depletion of glycogen can be delayed. This effectively postpones fatigue, and a little protein helps get more sugar into the muscle.

Pushing fatigue later and later has two advantages. First, your team is running and the opponent is tiring right when most goals are scored. Second, a large portion of injuries happen late in the game so delaying fatigue can be considered a way to prevent injuries.

Ingestion of some carbs after training and games gets the refueling process started sooner and faster than if the process is delayed even by two hours.

"You mean I have to supply water, protein, vitamins, carbs during and after exercise?"

Only if you want to have a leg up on the opponents while also getting a head start at recovery for the next game or practice.

But that doesn't mean that you have to shop multiple aisles of the grocery store. There are a variety of sports drinks on the market that contain both electrolytes and proteins in one recognizable package!

See your Coaches/Trainer for more recommendations!

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