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One of the big killers of athletic performance is dehydration and jet lag. Adequate hydration is critical to over-coming any time changes as well as keeping yourself functioning to your full potential. Athletes should always carry a water bottle and sip fluids frequently. Airline travel is especially dehydrating due to the pressurized cabin. Athletes should carry an empty bottle with them through airport security and fill it with water as soon as they are through. Athletes should aim to drink a minimum of 1 cup (250 mL) of fluid for every hour of air travel.
Other tips to help reduce dehydration and jet-lag while traveling are:
- Consume a high carb meal or two prior to travelling; this will help build extra glycogen (energy) and fluid stores
- Drink one cup (250 mL) of fluid for every hour of air travel
- Limit pop, coffee, tea, and alcohol
- Pack extra calories with nutritious portable snacks – pretzels, beef jerky, trail mix, nuts
- Upon arrival, go out in the sunlight to help adjust to the new time zone
- Allow 1–3 days to adjust for every time zone crossed, plan your travels days accordingly
Stay tuned for Part 3: Game Day Nutrition!
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