The Environmental And Nutritional Challenge
Many sporting contests take place in less than optimal environmental conditions.
In order to provide players with the best possible means to cope with prevailing conditions, sport science has investigated practices, which allow us to function more efficiently and most importantly avoid the premature onset of fatigue.
It is important to realise that very warm and very cold environmental conditions, drain are muscular reserves at a faster rate than less extreme conditions.
Warm conditions challenge our ability to maintain core temperature and remain sufficiently hydrated. This is why the emphasis an emphasis on fluid balance is important. Did you know that a fluid loss of only 2-3%, can seriously impair physical performance!
Given that the world is over two thirds water in content as are our bodies, it is not surprising to see such an emphasis on drinks like lucozade in soccer.
These are able to work in concert with our bodies in a way that even pure water cannot.
Faced with even moderate temperatures, the body will lose water, potassium and sodium during match play and training at rates, which will lead to the premature onset of fatigue.
The nutritional concerns, which affect footballers, are many.
One major factor in a footballer's eating habits are based around a need for carbohydrate.
This is because the body uses carbohydrate as its main fuel source during training and competitive matchplay.
Unfortunately, despite our evolution we are able to store only limited amounts in our bodies as glycogen.
The intensity of matches in the Premier League are such that these can be exhausted by half-time!
Therefore we must adopt strategies to buffer this loss such that we can compete for ninety minutes and beyond.
I should say also that when carbohydrate (glycogen) runs out, it does not matter how much other fuels you have left because you will be unable to meet the requirements and intensity of a match both physically and mentally. In this instance you are fatigued prematurely!
To cope with this we have to adopt various dietary practices to enhance our ability to exercise for long periods at a high intensity.
This is a role for the fitness coach and amongst the others factors discussed form a small part of my business.
Fitness Coach and Exercise Physiologist
The final part of Fitness Coach Kunle Odetoyinbo's 'Soccer and Science' series concentrates on environment and nutrition.