HydrationOne of the most important things that you can do for your lacrosse player is to be sure that when they go to practices and games, they have sufficient amount of water packed with them.
Follow these guidelines for proper hydration. During prolonged lacrosse matches and practices in the heat, body fluids lost as sweat must be replaced as frequently as possible to avoid dehydration and possible thermal injury. Drinking 12 to 20 ounces (1 -2 cups) of fluid 10 - 20 minutes prior to practice or competition is recommended, it is extremely important to maintain the fluid intake by replenishing these fluids during the practice or game.
During prolonged exercise at least 8 ounces (1 cup) of fluid should be consumed every 15 - 20 minutes.
FoodThe best diet for anyone and this goes double for an athlete is a balanced meal consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates and ‘good’ fat. Proteins such as fish, eggs, chicken, lean red meats, dairy and pork are great muscle builders. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads, brown rice, other grains, fruits and vegetables are great energy suppliers. ‘Good’ fats include omega three fatty acids found in many fish, olive oil and some fruits and vegetables like avocadoes help to maintain the body’s immune system and ward off colds and disease. A combination of these foods the night before a game and then a few hours before a game will help your athlete perform to the best of his or her ability. It is also important that an athlete eat regularly- every 3 to 4 hours. This will eliminate any energy lows or highs and help the body to build lean muscle mass while burning fat. Skipping meals and then ‘back-loading’ to make up for it has been shown to actually decrease lean muscle and build fat stores in the body. So the moral of the nutrition story is to eat well balanced small meals throughout the day and drink plenty of water.
NOTE: Half time snacks are discouraged. Hydration is most important at this stage in the game. Snacks such as oranges actually dehydrate the body because of the sugar content.
Suggested Snacks For Post GameIt is also vitally important to recharge the body post game. Nutritionists recommend that a small meal or snack be consumed about a half hour after the completion of a match and certainly no later than an hour and a half. This is especially important during tournaments or round robins when multiple games are played during a day or weekend. By refueling the body with a wholesome snack or small meal (and plenty of water and good liquids), the body will better recharge and repair itself for the next match.