Professional sport is a healthy activity that requires tremendous physical effort. Experienced athletes are accustomed to working to their limit to perform to their best. Student-athletes often need to get used to this lifestyle. They are driven to reach the highest heights, but sometimes there are setbacks going at such a strenuous pace, causing pain and injuries along with long recovery times afterward.
It is great if our athletes are prepared for that: they regularly visit doctors, undergo periodic examinations, and workout according to their detailed training plans. We’ve selected several tips on how to improve an athlete’s health backed by data, read on for 3 Tips for Student-Athletes to Stay Healthy According to Science!
1. You Know You Need to Drink Water – Do it Right
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of hydration in the lives of professional athletes. Water is involved in the regulation of heat exchange, energy synthesis, and the excretion of metabolic waste products.
Maintaining a proper drinking routine is an essential factor for health and endurance during intensive sporting activities.
During intense sporting activity, metabolic functions rise, and are accompanied by an increase in body temperature, and usually profuse sweating.
Athletes lose about 4% fluids during one 60-90 minute workout session. Given the critical level of 7% fluid loss, it’s not difficult to understand the importance of maintaining a normal drinking regimen to avoid dehydration.
Critical fluid loss and lack of mineral salts drastically affect metabolism, bone fragility, and can provoke seizures. Profuse sweating leads to the excretion of potassium, magnesium, and other essential elements which leads to a disruption of the electrolyte balance in the blood.
Even a relatively minor loss of fluid affects overall health. Our bodies have no great water reserve, so fluid deficiency can quickly give rise to the following symptoms:
- General deterioration of health
- Decreased ability to work
- Impaired coordination of movements
- Muscle cramps
Thus, any athlete who regularly works out in a gym should monitor the amount or volume of water consumed.
3 Rules of Fluid Intake During a Workout
Of course, the amount of fluid intake should be calculated based on climatic conditions and intensity of exercise. However, there are general rules of thumb that should be followed in order to stay hydrated effectively.
- The optimal temperature of water for exercise should be below room temperature 77–82ºF. Hot or cold liquids can cause heat exchange disorders, increasing the load on the heart.
- Drink in small portions every 10-15 minutes.
- Total fluid intake should not exceed 500-700ml per hour of exercise.
In addition to drinking during exercise, you should drink 250-400ml of fluids one hour before training. After the workout, you can increase the amount of water consumed to restore maximum hydration level. Keep in mind that children and young athletes should increase the dose by 100-125ml, teenagers, by 200-250ml.
For student-athletes diet is a lifestyle, not a temporary way to get ready for the gaming season
The most optimal choice for athletes is to follow these guidelines:
2. Never Starve, Eat Enough Food
Feeling extremely hungry is common after training. You need to get enough nutrients, otherwise, you’ll have no energy for a good workout at the gym.
Create a habit of eating 5-6 times a day in small portions
According to Harvard Health, eating less than three times a day correlates with weight gain and is not healthy for an athlete with a high energy consumption level.
The optimal choice for a non-athlete is eating three times per day to avoid overeating. However, in order to boost your metabolism, it is advised to eat more often in small portions. It is also a great way to introduce healthy snacks that are high in calories and nutrients like nuts, nut butter with fruit, and protein.
Do not train on an empty stomach
Protein-based food is considered to be the best option to eat 30 minutes after a workout. Think healthy; nuts, tofu, and poultry, Greek yogurt, eggs, lentils, and chickpeas. Try to eat fruit and other carbohydrates later in the day or prior to training, but not right after.
Eat a lot of protein
It not only helps with weight loss – it’s also the building material for lean muscle mass.
Create your own diet and be consistent about the hours you eat. Listen to your body. If you don’t feel like eating breakfast and it doesn’t prevent you from high level sporting performances, then you might want to try intermittent fasting. However, maintain regularity and stay sensitive to the diet plan works best for your body.
3. Proper Rest is as Important as a Good Workout
Regular insomnia and lack of sleep deplete the nervous system, reduce performance and the organism’s immunity response. If you are a student-athlete, you need to take care of your sleep routine, because it will reflect on your grades as well.
Combining study and sport can sometimes be tiresome, so in order to rest more, you might want to consider leveraged ways to learn, like using an MBA essay writing service or relaxing by watching an hour of relevant seminar videos instead of reading.
During sleep, the level of activity of physiological functions is reduced and the body’s energy is used to restore the energy spent while you were awake and active. But despite the fact that the human body is resting, your cells are busy functioning; energy-rich phosphorous compounds are broken down, proteins and amino acids that are part of the structural unit of the muscular system are in the process of breaking down and rebuilding stronger than before.
That is why the normal recommended duration of sleep for athletes should not be 8-9 hours, but rather 10-12 hours on average.
Ensure you maintain a balance between the main points discussed in this article to enjoy a happy, healthy, abundant and harmonious lifestyle! What health tips for student athletes do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!