Some soccer players complain of chronic fatigue after eating. They feel run down, dragged out, and overwhelmingly exhausted. They come to doctors wondering if something is wrong with their diet—and if taking vitamins would solve the problem.
Here are some questions she asks to help decipher the source of their energy problems.
•Are you tired due to low blood sugar? If you skimp on breakfast, miss lunch because you "don't have time” and then doze off in the afternoon because you have low blood sugar, no amount of vitamins will solve that energy problem! You need to choose to make time to eat lunch, and choose to stock wholesome snacks (nuts, dried fruit) at school or work.
•Is your diet too low in carbohydrates? If you eat too many fast-but-fatty food choices and fatigue after eating, or you think just salad with chicken is a healthy choice, you will fill your stomach but leave your muscles poorly fueled with inadequate glycogen to support your training program.tired after i eat You’ll end up playing with “dead legs.”
•Are you eating enough? Some female soccer players simply don’t eat enough, and/or enough of the right foods. They erroneously buy into the diets of sedentary peers, or they are too distracted or busy to consider fueling to be equally important as training.
•Are you iron-deficient and anemic? If you eat little red meat and consequently consume little iron, you might be low in this important mineral in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to exercising muscles.fatigue after eating Iron-deficiency anemia can result in needless fatigue during exercise. (To boost your dietary iron intake, with or without meat, see Chapter 7.)fatigue after eating bread You might also want to talk with your doctor about getting your blood tested (hemoglobin, hematocrit, ferritin, serum iron, and total iron-binding capacity) to rule out the possibility of anemia.
FEMALE PLAYERS AND IRON
There are cases in which female soccer players, even as an entire team, undergo simple blood tests to determine iron levels. And when and if there is a shortage, iron supplements may be prescribed. This is the case for Sonia Bompastor, a 2009 leaguewide Player of the Month from the Washington Freedom, who relates,
“I take iron because I'm anemic and I need that iron to perform on the field. If I don't take the pills my body is tired and I always want to sleep. A lot of soccer players need to take iron.”
•Are you getting enough sleep? Perhaps you are simply burning the candle at both ends and are rightfully tired. While advice to “get more sleep” is easier said than done, you can strive to make sleep more of a priority on your “to do” list.
THE NEED FOR SLEEP
In addition to fatigue, lack of sleep directly affects athletic performance. According to research by Peter Walters, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Wheaton College in Illinois, cumulative sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce cardiovascular performance by 11%. It also affects other measures of performances, such as focus, perceived exertion, and alters the supply of energy to the muscles.
•Are you overtraining? Some soccer players think they will improve faster if they train as hard as possible every day. Wrong! One or two rest days or easy days per week are an essential part of a training program; rest days provide the time the body needs to replenish depleted muscle glycogen. This can be difficult with mostly organized play and overcrowded scheduling. Look for a coach/team with a sensible program; talk to your current coach, and don’t double card (play for two teams) or guest play if you suspect overtraining, or don’t want to risk it.
•Are you stressed or depressed? When life is feeling out of control, stresses can certainly drain your mental energy, create sleep problems, and leave you feeling exhausted.fatigue after eating Choosing to eat healthful meals on a regular schedule can help you feel better both physically and mentally. That is energizing in itself.gluten fatigue after eating Food increases the level of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone.
For most soccer players, resolving fatigue with better eating, sleeping, and training habits is more effective than taking vitamin pills. By implementing the simple food suggestions in this book, you can transform low-energy eating patterns into a fueling plan for success.
Your best bet for fighting fatigue is to be responsible with your choices and nourish your body with the right balance of wholesome foods.fatigue after eating sugar Make the effort to eat a variety of foods and fluids from the different food groups every day to consume not only the amount of the vitamins and minerals you need, but also the calories your body needs to prevent fatigue.
If you are tempted to take supplements for health insurance, do so only if you simultaneously choose to eat responsibly. Remember,if you have fatigue after eating no amount of supplements will compensate for an inadequate diet—but you will always win with good nutrition. Eat wisely, eat well!
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