Staying energized during sports can be hard, especially when the weather is hot! If you are an athlete you know the importance of fueling your body. As the summer sports begin, let us help you with some tips on staying energized and motivated.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things when you are playing sports. Whether you are riding horses, pitching on the mound, or golfing on the green, you need to stay hydrated. I recommend filling your water bottle with ice and water so that when the ice melts your bottle will be refilled. Make sure that you keep your bottle close by for easy access during games!
If you tend to get easily overheated, try drinking lukewarm water. Sometimes cold water can cause you to be nauseous if your body is hot, so be sensitive to your body’s reaction to water. Even if you do not want to drink water, your body will thank you for it later.
Electrolyte replacement drinks will replenish your energy after playing sports. When you sweat, your body loses potassium, chloride, and sodium. It is important to replenish those electrolytes so that you can keep playing. Gatorades are a great source of electrolytes. If you want a low-sugar option, try drinking a liquid IV. The liquid IV powder mixes easily with water and comes in a variety of flavors and colors. If you are on snack duty for your team, consider bringing a package of liquid IV powder and some water bottles.
Protein is a great way to energize your body after playing sports. Sports medicine specialists recommend eating protein within one hour of physical exercise so that you can maintain the muscle you gained. Protein provides the amino acids that your body needs to repair and rebuild your muscles. You can make a protein shake, eat a beef stick, or eat a package of nuts to give your body protein after exercising.
You also need to eat fresh fruits and veggies to fuel your body. Make sure to eat meals and snacks that include food that is grown naturally. My favorite meal to eat after playing sports is chicken, steamed broccoli, and wild rice. The chicken provides great protein, the broccoli contains natural vitamins, and the rice provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory boosts.
Finally, you need to eat carbs to have a balanced diet! Carbs have many health benefits, including fueling your brain, giving you energy, and helping you sleep better. When I say carbs I am not talking about white bread and bakery pastries. I am talking about oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes, and the like. Each of these foods provides the minerals, vitamins, and energy boost that your body needs to continue playing sports!
Cooling towels are a great way to guard against heat stroke during the summer. Although your body will sweat to keep you cool, some people can easily overheat. There are a few solutions to keep you cool and comfortable while playing sports. You can soak several bandanas in cold water and freeze them overnight. Or, you can buy special towels that are designed to keep you cool. I also recommend buying a fan with a water sprayer so that you can refresh your face during games. Sometimes a splash of cold water is the best way to re-energize yourself after a long game!
Getting a solid night of sleep each night is essential to staying energized. Your body simply will not be able to function on a few hours of sleep. It is recommended that each person get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Try to be disciplined to get at least 8 hours of sleep! That may look like leaving your phone outside your bedroom or setting a reminder when it is time to wind down. Try to go to bed at the same time each night so that your body can adjust to a regular sleep routine.
If you want your bones to stay healthy and strong for sports, then you need to spend some time in the sun! Not only will it boost your mood, but it will also tan your skin and provide your bones with the calcium they need to stay healthy.
Doctors recommend spending twenty minutes in the sun before applying sunscreen. That way, your body can absorb the vitamin D that it needs before feeling the effects of the sun’s harmful rays. By absorbing vitamin D, athletes can improve their oxygen consumption rate, guard against stress fractures, and improve their muscular strength.
Cold showers are one of the best ways to wake your body up before exercising. If you are struggling to wake up on game day, consider taking a quick, cold shower to energize yourself. The cold water will close your pores so that they do not get infected when you sweat.
Taking a cold shower after playing sports is equally beneficial. Scientists have shown that cold showers provide benefits such as easing sore muscles and reducing inflammation. If you cannot endure a full cold shower, try turning the water cold for the last 30 seconds of your shower. This will close your pores and ease your aching muscles.
Finally, you need to set goals to keep yourself energized. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable! Goals are the best way to stay motivated during sports. If you do not have a goal that you are working toward, you will lose sight of the improvement you are making. Staying energized during sports doesn’t just involve physical care. It involves mental care too. Make sure that you verbalize your goals to a coach or mentor so that they can hold you accountable. Then, record the lessons that you learn as you strive to attain your goals!
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