Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Advertisement Future - Coke

By no means am I advertising or suggesting that you try this. I'm not a doctor, and there is risk in what I'm about to tell you. When I play, I'm not one of those guys with the water and the gatorade powder. I come to the field with a coke or pepsi for every game and a bag of potato chips.

Pictured Above: Even though it looks photoshopped this is an aggressive mark by Ali Alizadeh back in 2001 at the Toronto Ultimate Tournament.

What is my reasoning for this diet? The coke is my energy provider with both sugar and caffeine. I try to sip the coke every time I come off the field and then have a gulp of water. This is an attempt to have a constant production of energy over an entire day. The downside of this approach is the diuretic element of caffeine and the quick energy release of sugar.

The potato chips are an additional source of carbohydrates and salt. The salt being one of my major concerns during the day. Finally, I like to chew gum to keep my teeth clean after drinking both the coke and chips.

Throughout the day I'll probably have one banana, a bagel, and oranges (if they're good). The morning involves a number 2 combo from McDonald's. I like eating this at least 2 hours before game time, but that's not always possible. After a day playing I'm looking to eat pasta and meat.

So, the key aspect of all this is the cola and chips. This is a topic that I'm planning on researching some more, but game day diets, and probably, 2/3 day before diet and its impact on play is an interesting topic. I doubt my approach is the right one, but I've felt focused during the day without any troubles without any of the over stimulated I tend to get with strong energy drinks.

I found a good summary of the research done into caffeine and athletic performance (Caffeine and Performance. Nancy Clark, Palaestra, Vol. 21, No. 4, p46, 2005). In this article, she mentions some interesting research:
- The U.S. Army has found little affect of caffeine and dehydration
- Caffeine aids endurance performance with little impact on individual sprints
- A can of pepsi has ~ 45mg caffeine compared to Red Bull's 80mg
- Moderate caffeine intake is considered to be 250mg

So, my caffeine intake is about 5*45mg ~ 250mg which is less than quoted numbers for performance enhancement, and I'm still hydrating myself to some degree. Doesn't seem totally crazy.

On the other hand, my last to tournaments I've suffered from terrible leg cramps. I think this is more a factor of playing too much ultimate, and being on the D-line, which includes much more running than O-line. My next tournament I will increase my water intake and try some Eload, which people have been praising.

The reality is sport nutrition is something a coach should be aware of and enforcing for the team. In the best situation, it would be nice to have a sports nutritionist describe and plan out a diet for a tournament day. Maybe I would leave the coke behind.



Tom said...

Read an article a while ago about caffeine and sports (it may have been in Taylor's favourite magazine, not sure). Anyway, what I remember is that if you're not a regular caffeine user, you can get a significant performance boost from taking caffeine during competition. They recommended caffeinated gum, for reasons I don't fully remember, but that probably had something to do with absorption.

kirker said...

well, whether it improves your game or not, it will certainly improve your chances of heart disease- and that's something.

Jeters said...

To Tom: Upper...makes sense to a point

To Kirk: It also can increase your chance of having a heart attack during a game. Not as bad as ephedrine, but still there is some risk. Of course, there's some risk in just playing.

shawn said...

The key to good performance is steak and rice the night before, during and after a tournament. Of course, steak can be substituted with ribs or prime rib and rice can be substituted with potatoes.