Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Thoughts...Need Fuel?

Well that was quite the Superbowl!  Most of you probably enjoyed the game while fueling up on wings, chips, cheese, beer, puppy chow, chicken gizzards, and deer antler spray.  Ok maybe not the last two, but while you were chowing down on those goodies, the players had to find fuel for one of the longest games is Superbowl history.

From start to finish, the Superbowl by itself is about an hour longer than non-Superbowl games. 

With all the spectaculars, ceremonies, and Beyonce's hips causing a 34 minute power outage - last nights game was almost 4.5 hours long. 

Add in the 2-3 hour window most teams eat before the game, and these guys were going 7-8+ hours since their last meal.  That's a long freakin time to stay fueled up and ready to play. 

Now I don't know how or even if these teams prepare for these long periods, but it would be definitely worth while with all that is riding on this game.  I'm sure during halftime they have some snacks and of course Gatorade (sorry to break your heart, but Gatorade is not the nector of the Gods like many believe) on the sidelines, but is that enough with such big implications on the line? 

I say no!

Teams should have some definite guidelines in place for the Superbowl.  This game is different than other games, and having athletes properly nourished, fueled, and hydrated is essential for performance in the later stages of the game.  No matter how great you prepare in the days leading up to the game or during your pregame meal, you are going to need strategies to maintain a high level of performance throughout that long game.

Don't Let This Happen To You

These guys are physically and mentally challenged 7-8+ hours, and that takes a toll, and having a nutrtional strategy could be the difference in these games.  So let's look at what these teams and athletes could do.
  • Have a schedule for constant fueling.  You don't want to have high spikes in blood sugar levels, you want to maintain steady blood sugar levels
  • Use a drink or food mixture that provides proper carbs (mixture of both simple and complex), amino acids (BCAA and EAA), variety of vitamins and minerals (electrolytes), and some healthy fats
  • Drink atleast 8 ounces of fluids every hour, with sticking to a drink that provides the above guidelines.  Honestly there are much better choices than Gatorade
  • Teach some breathing or relaxation techniques to help enhance oxygen consumption/utilization and to reduce tension and unwanted muscle activity
  • Have these tools on the sidelines in an easy to use form.  Waiting til halftime and eating the typical banana or granola bar is not ideal.  Provide nutrient supplies during rest periods for a more constant flow into the blood stream
If you don't have the luxary of playing for in the NFL and want to target these guidelines here are some samples
  • Peanut Butter w/ piece of fruit (good combo of carbs, fats, and proteins)
  • Shake (whey protein, banana, water)  (sip, don't chug)
  • Piece of fruit
  • SuperFoods drink - Amazing Grass Greens SuperFood
  • Liquid Meal Replacement 
  • Electrolyte Drink -  Gatorade
  • Milk, greek yogurt (But again be careful as dairy can cause some stomach problems)
  • Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAA) or Essential Amino Acids (EAA) 
Make sure you tryout whatever strategy you are thinking about during a practice, so you can see how your body responds.  Never go directly into a game with a new, never previously tested strategy, this sets you up for failure. 

There are much better options out there for optimal performance other than Gatorade.  Gatorade will provide certain benefits, but it definitely has it's limits.  So if you are a serious athlete concerned wth serious results, start looking into better options for fueling your performance.

So prepare for the best and Go Get 'Em!

Like, Dislike, Agree, Disagree, WORLD CHANGING, or a big turd; whatever you feel, leave a comment below and let me know!

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