7 goals to create THE athlete ROUTINE

Whether you are a professional athlete, amateur or beginner, you need to establish a routine.

We can observe how professional athletes use a pre-game routine or ritual to create a mindset for success. They use these mental routines to build Repetition; repetition builds Consistency… and all that leads to Successful Performance.

Learning the Fundamentals

1. Controlling Hydration

I am going to start with a simple fact: if we stay hydrated we will be controlling 20% of our performance!

This means we need to set up a routine before getting thirsty; it could be drinking every 15 or 20 minutes in small sips, preferably at room temperature.

Some basic rules for proper hydration are the following:

Before exercise, an isotonic or hypotonic drink, depending on the type of warm-up program.

During exercise, an isotonic drink (not an hypertonic one!) which can be supplemented with carbohydrates, sodium and chlorine after the first hour of exercise.

After exercise: water is supplemented with carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and antioxidants. Keep in mind that isotonic drinks rehydrate and recover glycogen, while the hypertonic ones recover muscle and liver glycogen.

Swimming and Competing

2. Increasing Endurance

When planning our time for exercising, we should organize our last meal so that it is rich in carbohydrates and low in fat and fiber. During exercise we have to provide our muscles with glucose, including different chain length carbohydrates to achieve both immediate and prolonged effect. Sodium citrate or sodium bicarbonate is used to lessen the impact of lactic acid on blood pH.

3. Building Muscle Mass

Building muscle mass is needed to increase the training load and to decrease inflammation and oxidative effects, especially in energetic sports. Most protein supplements are combined with Vitamin C, minerals and creatine.

Proteins supplements are marketed as whey protein, soy, casein, L-arginine and branched-chained amino acids. There are risks associated with excess intake of proteins such as dehydration and loss of calcium through The Renal System. Seek advice if you need further information about this point!

4. Increasing Instant Energy

Increasing instant energy is especially important when we are trying to build up the capacity for a long-term exercise. We can achieve this energy by providing our body with carbohydrates for immediate effect although they could have some side effects like nausea and diarrhea. We find them on the market as gels or solid bars. Careful! Always check the label… sometimes it is combined with caffeine or other stimulants!

Running along the desert…

5. Increasing Strength

The most important thing is an adequate intake of protein and carbohydrates through the diet contributing to the development of muscle mass. Creatine can be used as a supplement increasing endurance, improving recovery time and reducing the probability of cramps.

6. Preventing Cramps

Cramp comes as a sudden, painful contraction when a muscle is tired. Causes are: increased lactic acid, drop in vitamins and/or minerals, dehydration, high level of fatigue, hot humid environment. Cramps can be reduced or avoided by supplementing our drinks with magnesium or bicarbonate amongst others.

7. Optimizing Recovery

Four points about supplements to support recovery:

1. Isotonic drinks with carbohydrates & electrolytes preferably at room temperature

2. Proteins for muscle gain

3. Multivitamins and Antioxidants such as resveratrol, acetyl cysteine…

4. Immunomodulatory agents like glutamine

This summary has been created thanks to the fantastic presentation of Carmen del Campo Arroyo (Community Pharmacist and Nutritionist) as part as a Professional Pharmacist Day held last month (May 2016) in Madrid.

As unique individuals, everybody needs to adjust these routines and make them personal. We must always consider the following: Careless use of supplements can be risky in short, medium or long term. If you need further advice you should consider obtaining additional professional advice!

My beautiful picture
Enjoying Reflex Apnea!

Stress is the enemy of performance! …

This is today´s apothemary advice.

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