Fitness Tips For Christmas: Tis’ The Season To Stay Hydrated! - Paul Gough Physio Rooms

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Fitness Tips For Christmas: Tis’ The Season To Stay Hydrated!

So it’s that time of year…

…when peak performance on Sunday morning is EXCHANGED for a big night out with work colleagues…

…that usually involves LOTS of alcohol!

So here’s a few festive thoughts on how to limit the impact it has on how well you will play, AND, your chances of being injured.

See, what most people don’t realise about drinking a little too much alcohol is that it seriously dehydrates your system – for days! And that means even if your Christmas party is happening on a Thursday or a Friday, you’re still likely to be short on fluids by Sunday.

And if there’s a lack of fluid in your system, makes your muscles much more likely to tighten and tear. And worse yet, because you’ve been so dehydrated, it’ll take even longer to repair. And here’s why: if you’ve ever torn a muscle what you might have seen is “swelling”.

And that swelling, well, it’s simply fluid that is now not in your circulatory system as it should be – because it’s now trying to protect a damaged muscle.

So you’ve got twice the “de-hydration” effect going on.

Now, I’d say that dehydration is the single most costly mistake that grassroots performers make – in ANY sport.

More so than failing to warm up. Which brings me to the likelihood of skipping a warm up – which if you’re out partying until late, is likely to increase.

Think about it. If you’re slightly worse for wear the very next day – then you’re maybe arriving a little later to the game, or, you just don’t feel like doing it hoping that in another 15 minutes or so you’ll feel a lot better – even kidding yourself that you’re better off saving energy for the game.

Thing is, with less water in your system, AND not having done a proper warm up – you’re unlikely to finish the game anyway… because your hamstrings and calf muscles have been neglected and waiting for that split second you stretch too far and will be sure to let you know they’re not up the game today with a “pop” (ouch!).

And what about your co-ordination and your balance? Well, a few too many “wiskeys” or “sherrys” the night before and you’re likely to be testing those ankles of yours to the max.

If you’re swaying from side to side running after the ball (which continues to roll in a straight line), I hope you’ve got some ice waiting on the side lines to suppress more swelling and more fluid loss if either ankle “sprains” as you’re unable to stay on both feet.

What else? Oh yeah… you’re energy levels! They’ll be affected too. I bet if you’ve had a few too many the night before, you’ll not be able to resist the bacon and eggs for breakfast – done in the frying pan of course just because that way really hits the spot!

Thing is, there’s now LOTS of acid in your body – not good for the hangover OR your bodies recovery system and the amount of energy you’ll have is now lower too.

Anything else?

Yes, last one…

I bet that because you’re severely dehydrated, tired, hungry and likely to have pulled a muscle or sprained an ankle – you’ll also skip the cool down. That means when you wake up the next day after the game, even though your head from the hangover might feel better, every other muscle in your body will be hurting instead.

Something to think about this weekend if you’re involved in sport and find yourself still at the office party at 3am. Enjoy! I’ll be waiting for your call on Monday if not 😉

Paul Gough
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