Lacrosse Nutrition Tips: Fuel the Game of Your Life:
Lacrosse Nutrition Tip Number 1:
What you decide to fuel your body with heavily determines how your body will perform.
If you give your body crappy fuel, you are more than likely to get crappy results. We are not all like Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who can eat skittles on the sideline and still go into “beast mode.”
If you think you are fine with the way you fuel yourself before games and practices then fine, keep doing what you are doing and perform below your potential.
However, if you have interest in playing at the top of your game EVERY TIME you step on the field, for EVERY MINUTE, and EVERY PLAY, then keep on reading.
Your Body is Your Temple: Nourish It, Get Rewarded:
Sorry to get all cliché, but it’s true. Your body should be sacred to you! What you put in it will determine how you perform, PERIOD!
Today we are going to be talking about some of the most important nutritional disciple. The Pre-Game/Practice meal.
We have 5 areas of focus in fueling ourself for a game or practice:
- We want to have high energy
- We want to be alert, but focused
- We want to be confident
- We want to be able to last till the final minute
- We want to be hydrated
Alright, let’s get started.
Finding Long Lasting Energy:
It’s crucial that our energy levels our high as we go into a game or practice. We we feel a little dull, we will play extra sluggish.
When are energy levels are not that high, we play in a different style. We are not as aggressive, we are not as willing to make the extra effort, and we are not as mentally in the game.
Where Do I Go for Long Lasting Energy? – Caffeine
Try caffeine! In moderate amounts caffeine can be extremely beneficial to all kinds of athletes. If you are not a coffee/tea person you may want to reconsider.
Caffeine has been shown to improve your endurance levels whether you are already fit or not.
Some caffeine will help you feel up for every game or practice. However, like I said before, caffeine will benefit you in moderate amounts. Only 1 cup of coffee or tea should do the trick, especially if you have not developed any sort of tolerance for caffeine.
Be Alert, But Focused and Calm All At Once:
Alright, the caffeine has you alert, but concerned it may distract you and lessen your focus? Focus is critical in practice and of course even more important in games.
We don’t want you day dreaming!
No fear, there are methods to get your focus on point.
A great balance to the caffeine you got from the tea or coffee would be a supplement callL-Theanine. L-Theanine is the active ingredient in green teas that gives you the ‘zen-like’ energy. However, most green teas you can buy off the shelves will not have too high of levels of this compound so supplementing would be a good choice.
As well, to get on the subject of pre-game/practice eats, we strongly suggest some nuts! Walnuts for example are high in essential oils, fats, and amino acids that promote focus. As well, nuts are an awesome food if you want quality fuel for long lasting energy!
Have the Confidence to Make the Big Play!
How are you suppose to perform if you don’t have the confidence that you will perform well? Lacrosse just like any other sport or activity is hugely a mental game!
If you lack the confidence, you will lack the results! When we are confident, we feel ready to take on any opponent and ready to take on any role that is asked of us to help our team win.
Where Do We Find Confidence?
Confidence is tightly connected to testosterone. The higher levels of testosterone we have the higher levels of confidence we have and vice versa.
Thus, in fueling our body before the game, we need to think about boosting our testosterone!
Foods with high levels of healthy fats give us high levels of good cholesterol that will in turn boost our testosterone. Look to add foods like avocados or nuts as we discussed above into the pre-game/practice meal!
Also, add some fish oil or coconut oil to the mix too! They will play a huge factor in your testosterone levels once you step onto the field.
Fueled All The Way To Last Play:
What good is your pre-game/practice fuel if you are burnt out come to the last few plays or drills? Nothing, really.
You need food that will fuel you for the long run guys!
Set yourself apart from the other players who are lagging in the final moments, and find that final push in what you gave your body before the game!
What you need to look for in foods to give you that long lasting energy:
- High in Amino Acids
- Simply put, your body uses amino acids for almost all of it’s functions. How much is your body moving around during your lax game/practice? Quite a bit huh…Finding foods high with these amino acids is critical
- Suggested Food: Eggs! Eggs have high levels of amino acids to fuel you properly for your game or practice. The protein won’t be too bad for you either!
- Foods the will keep your blood sugar steady, and glycogen storages full
- In basic terms, glycogen is the energy that is used for any explosive type movements. Sounds very important for lacrosse right? Yeah, definitely.
- Your blood sugar needs to stay level throughout your game or practice. Dips and peaks in your blood sugar cause your energy levels to peak and crash. That sounds like a nightmare for playing a consistent game or having a great practice.
- To follow these guidelines: Look for fruits high in fiber! For instance, a banana would be a great option. As well, the dark leafy greens we always hear about so much, spinach and kale have extremely high levels of fiber and would be terrific pre-game/practice.
- Consider mixing up some of these things in a smoothie on the side of some eggs. A smoothie is also a lot easier for the body to digest.
The Tip That Should Not Be Said (But Will Be Anyways):
This is the oldest nutritional tip in the book, whether this is your day to day life or for an athletic event.
Stay hydrated and you perform a ton better.
Seriously, even being the slightest bit dehydrated will affect how you perform. It’s been found that if you are missing even 2% of your body’s normal level of fluids than your endurance can be decreased by up to 30%!
That’s a huge difference right?
Drink plenty of water well before your practice or game. Always be drinking water in fact! The last thing you want is to feel sluggish or worse get a cramp in the middle of the game or a drill. Just embarrassing!
Alright laxers, there you have it. Here are a few of our top pre-game/practice fueling tips. Be sure that we will be putting more lacrosse nutritional tips out in the future because here at “OneStopLacrosse” we are passionate about preparing you to play your best game ever!