3 Hacks for Maintaining Performance on the Road
Every athlete strives to feel great and performs well throughout the entire season. In a dream world, we would all wake up feeling refreshed each morning, we would experience rapid recovery post-workout and we would compete at our very best at the height of our season.
Imagine fresh organic foods falling out of the sky into our hands upon request! Oh, and social media would never keep us awake the night before a big game or meet!
As if feeling great every day wasn’t hard enough for the average athlete, maintaining energy and performance on the road is even more difficult. High-quality food choices are often few and far between depending on the location of the competition. Teammates like to keep us awake when we’re trying to catch a snooze on the bus or plane. Organizations don’t always have adequate funds to provide proper hydration, snacks, recovery fuel etc. on demand, and the list goes on.
Traveling conditions will never, ever be 100% perfect. I work very closely with many professional athletes and even with an entire performance staff available for support, we still struggle at times. Though in working with our staff the sky may be the limit for funds, adequate/restful sleep is still a recurring issue, finding local, fresh food for fuel is not always possible, and the weather is unpredictable.
Over the years, these situations have kept me on my toes and taught me to use my creativity to navigate around unforeseen obstacles. Lucky for you, I’ve decided to spill a few beans on my 3 favorite sports life hacks for maintaining performance.
What are the major issues?
Plain and simple, high-quality sleep is critical in order for you to compete to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, sleep quality declines the most when athletes travel. I’m sorry my little night owls but you need restful sleep in order for the cells in your body to completely recharge and for all your organ systems to function properly. I know there are a few of you out there who think you operate just fine on 4-5 hours of sleep the night before a competition. Trust me, I see those bags under your eyes and I see that hustle is a few steps behind where it should be. Nice try.
Sleeping well on the road has always been a challenge throughout sports history. Competing in different time zones, having back to back games in different states, and feeling those pre-game jitters the night before are some of the most common reasons for athletes to experience a sleepless night before game day. However, now that social media is more prevalent than ever before, sleepless nights have taken on a whole new meaning.
Everyone from my high school athletes, weekend warriors, to my NBA all-stars struggle to fight the social media addiction. Social media is everywhere we turn and it tends to captivate us the most right before bedtime. This is a MAJOR PROBLEM because the light from our devices has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light. Blue light is so powerful that it affects levels of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, which in turn can prevent us from experiencing that deep REM sleep each night. When this occurs repeatedly over time, our circadian rhythm (our body’s natural clock) begins to shift to the point where we start to find ourselves groggy upon waking each day, begging for caffeine to stay alive, then wired when it’s time for bed.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
GoStak by Blender Bottle
Orgain Protein Shake
You’ve heard me say this before and you’ll hear it 1,000 times again; Don’t neglect your post-competition recovery fuel. Orgain protein shakes taste great and are extremely convenient. Throw them right in your bag-no refrigeration required. No need to worry about protein powder dumping all over your bag since these shakes are pre-mixed and ready to drink. Orgain offers organic grass-fed shakes made from dairy sourced exclusively from New Zealand. Furthermore, for those who prefer a diary free or vegan option, they also offer completely plant based shakes that taste amazing. Also, for those looking for those looking to travel without liquids, especially for carry on bags, check out our posts on the 5 Best Protein Bars on the Planet to see some of the best products to fuel your trip.
Do you have any sports related hacks to share? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section, we would love to hear from you!