Sports Hydration & Nutrition Primer

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”(Ephesians 6:13 ESV)

Putting on the armor after the battle has already begun can be a pretty risky proposition.  God’s word encourages us to be ready so that we can stand when the battle is at hand.

The same goes for preparing for practices and and games.  Just bringing an energy bar and a bottle of water or a sports drink will not prepare you for a battle on the field.  Be Ready!


Proper hydration is vital to your athletic performance and health. To perform your best, learn how to drink enough before, during and after your workouts.

Pre-Workout Hydration

Before a long run, a race, or a training workout, drink plenty of fluids. The day before an event, drink extra water, 100 percent juice and/or other nutrient-rich fluids such as nonfat or 1 percent milk. Monitor the color of your urine. The goal is pale yellow, not clear. Proper hydration is vital to your athletic performance and health. To perform your best, learn how to drink enough before, during and after your workouts.

More: 6 Best Hydrating Foods for Athletes

The morning of the event, drink 2 cups (8 oz.) of fluid two hours beforehand. This gives your kidneys enough time to process the liquids, giving you sufficient time to empty your bladder before the start of your event.

Thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the athletic event, drink another 5 to 10 oz. of water or sports drink. One oz. of fluid equals about a medium mouthful of water.

More: Measure Your Sweat Loss for Optimal Hydration

During Workout Hydration

Every athlete has unique hydration needs. By weighing yourself before and after exercise, you can estimate the volume of fluid your body requires to remain hydrated during exercise.

For each pound lost during activity, drink an additional 16 oz. of fluid. For example, if you drank 8 oz. while exercising for 60 minutes and lost one pound, your goal is to drink an additional 16 oz. during your next workout.

So, you would need to drink a total of 24 oz. to ensure proper hydration. This would equate to 6 oz. of fluid every 15 minutes.

More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes

Post-Workout Hydration

To help you determine the amount of fluid you lose during exercise, you can weigh yourself before and after exercise. For each pound lost during activity, drink 24 oz. of fluid. If your body weight increased, you have overhydrated and you should drink less fluid in future exercise sessions.

After a practice or competition, drink to quench your thirst and then drink some more. Because the thirst mechanism is an inaccurate indicator of dehydration, you’ll have to monitor your urine to determine whether or not you’ve had enough.

More: 11 Hydration Strategies for Hot Weather



All of these examples are critical the week of competition, but especially the day before and during play.
Night before: good dinner. Breakfast 2 hours before, light lunch ( no pizza)
1) Pre-Game Eating Don’ts: Create and pass out a list of foods parents should avoid when providing meals for players before a game, and during the week while training or practicing. This list should include foods that tend to sit in the stomach (hot dogs, hamburger, roast beef, steak), sugary foods (doughnuts, chocolate, soda), and processed items (potato chips).
LOW Sugar foods (gylcemic index)
Rich Carb fruits: Apples
Peaches, oranges, grapefruit, banana
Slice of toast, bagels, crackers, cereal bar, dried fruit, raisins
2) No Empty Stomachs: Players who say they aren’t hungry or refuse a meal should be coaxed into eating. The appetite often dulls in times of excitement and high adrenaline, causing less hunger. Young players require a bit more energy than adult players and should be fed often. Coaches should also encourage healthy eating two to four hours before playing with refreshing snacks (an apple or sports drink) during games.
3) Before Competition: As a rule of thumb, coaches should encourage players to eat a big meal (like two large bagels with peanut butter; yogurt; orange juice) four hours before a game; a light meal (deli sandwich; fruit salad; low-fat milk) two hours before a game, and snacks (medium banana; granola bar; and low-fat milk, power shake) about an hour or less before game play. YOUR LAST MEAL SHOULD BE # HOURS BEFORE THE GAME!!!!
NOTHING FRIED!! Stay away from super sweet or high fat foods
4) After Competition: After games, it is important to encourage players to immediately refuel with proper nutritional choices. High-carbohydrate foods are suggested, which helps increase the rate of game recovery. Consider whole grain waffles with fruit; grilled chicken sandwich and baked potato; roast beef sandwich on whole-grain roll; chicken and salad; turkey sub; and pasta or rice with vegetables.
Lots of Fluids
Spaghetti, Fettuccine
High Sugar Foods ( glycemic Index >55)
Rice, Potatoes, Bread, corn, oatmeal

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What’s in Your Rear View Mirror?

Rear View MirrorAlthough I use my mirrors when driving, I spend most of my time looking through the windshield. Rear view mirrors are quite valuable for backing up and changing lanes.  However, with a big windshield and forward facing seats it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that the car was intended to drive in the forward direction.  Rear view mirrors are small, limited, and often objects are closer than they appear. So although useful at a glance they rarely paint a complete and accurate picture of what is behind and are of little use in directing us in our quest to move forward.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Cor 13:12 ESV)

If properly adjusted, the picture painted in my rear view mirrors if continually changing and even if I check those mirrors every 15 seconds as is recommended (we all do that I am sure), the view rarely is the same.  The only constant in those mirrors is the other vehicles heading the same direction as me.

Rear View Mirror Removal Service

There are exceptions of course.  If I leave your car idling and keep it in park, it is safe to look into those mirrors and study the things behind.  A little maneuvering I can actually increase the perspective and see a wider view of those things back there.  Granted everything is a “mirror image” of reality and often it still appears closer (bigger) than the actual object.  As interesting as all of this may be it is not doing much to help me move forward and reach my destination, but at least I can appreciate what is behind us.

If vanity kicks in I can readjust those mirrors and look at at my own face.  Self examination is often heralded as an important part of life of development.  Personally, I don’t need to be to introspective to know that I am not where I need to be.  Maybe I have come a long way and I am grateful for that, but the mythological story of Narcissus speaks to the dangers of self reflection.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:13, 14 ESV)

“Pressing Toward the Goal” is obviously based on Philippians 3:13,14. I have quoted this verse hundreds of times and yet I never realized the importance of the forgetting part.  When my eyes are focused on what is behind, the path before me is out of sight.

Father help me keep my eyes on the road before me and keeping moving toward you.

Just Keep Swimming


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“Defense – NOT!” – Training Attack First

I intentionally try to refer to my back line as “fullbacks” or “backs’ not defenders.  This may appear to be just semantics, but I think that this mind-set keeps players off of their heals and helps keep us on the attack.  I have had some pretty good teams and some teams that where in competition above their ability and experience level.  Those teams that were over-matched tended to back up and try to prevent goals and lost sight of their purpose of scoring goals.

Defensive training needs to focus on attitude as much as skill … specifically the attitude of our players when the other team has the ball.  Skill wise we worked on not turning our backs on the ball, being patient and keeping position, and tackling the ball with the outside of the foot.  Since we are trying to get away from being defensive minded, we named our position the “taking” position and the player without the ball as the “Taker”.

The “Taker” position

I love it when the kids come up with the terms we will us. This set me up for a good analogy … so we think of the person with the ball as the devil and we are taking back what the devil has stolen. I have some serious issues with how this concept is used by some for increasing wealth and prosperity, but it works for soccer. (See the link below for a nice balanced discussion on the topic in a a sermon by Ian Johnson)  Consider this synopsis of the David Ziklag story from that sermon.

“The story in 1 Sam of David and ZIKLAG
Davids family is gone everything is lost and His men turn on him in natural anger!
Then comes a wonderful phrase! 1 Samuel 30:6 David was now in serious trouble because his men were very bitter about losing their wives and children, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

8 Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase them? Will I catch them?”And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” 9 So David and his six hundred men set out,

16 So the Egyptian led them to the Amalekite encampment. When David and his men arrived, the Amalekites were spread out across the ields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except four hundred young men who fled on camels. 18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 His troops rounded up all the flocks and herds and drove them on ahead. “These all belong to David as his reward!” they said.

(Link to Ian Johnson on taking back what the devil has stolen:

Proactive Champion

David was a proactive champion, despising injustice and committed to making things right.  Being an imperfect people in a world of sin, injustice is going to occur. Despite God’s desire to provide blessing, we are going to mess it up.  We know that is God’s desire to restore our world to a place of blessing … and He wants to use us to do it.  We are supposed to be His blessing to a hurting world crippled by sin. We don’t need to defend the world from sin … that was already taken care of by Jesus on the cross.  All we have to do is spread that good news and be an example of His love and grace. Proactive Champions … Not Defenders.

On a side note, some of you might be thinking that we are defenders of the faith.  In the new testament Paul often was required to defend his faith.  I think Paul did not defend himself, he just presented The Gospel and The Gospel defended itself.

I question whether the defenses of the gospel are not sheer impertinences. The gospel does not need defending. If Jesus Christ is not alive and cannot fight His own battles, then Christianity is in a bad state. But He is alive, and we have only to preach His gospel in all its naked simplicity, and the power that goes with it will be the evidence of its divinity. (C.H. Spurgeon)

Preach Christ, always and everywhere. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-comprehending theme. (C.H. Spurgeon)

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Coaches Corner – Pushing Through

Getting Started: Muscles groan at this unexpected increase in activity, discouragement begins to creep in as new skills are introduced, but not mastered, and multiple stressors test our ability to keep attitudes in check. What an awesome opportunity for God to break us down so He can use us.

Seeing this during practice, I pulled out a tried and true devotional…Jeremiah 12:5&6

5  “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you,
how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you are so trusting,
what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?”

Jeremiah had been whining to the Lord about … well … the fact that he was not content with state in life and God’s seeming slowness to make something happen.

This is the time God chose to grow Jeremiah.  God uses the times that we are at our weakest to do the biggest work in our lives.  I know that when players begin to whine, they are about to grow…if they will push through.  If they will continue to rigorously train with the “footmen” eventually they will eventually even contend with the chariots.

Over the years, I have attempted to become a consistent blogger, but I have not been able to develop the motivation to keep it going. My original blog was established to journal my training for my first marathon.  I was pretty diligent about it during that period because I had a group of team mates that kept me accountable. Since that time, I transformed it into a blog about my efforts at training for life.  I have started it and stopped it several times, but I determined that a constant theme in my life has been fighting weariness, discouragement, and  failure. What would I call such a blog: “Running with the Footmen

Additionally, I have recently started the long arduous journey toward another marathon after several years of recovery from knee surgery and then several apathetic attempts at getting started again.  IF your interested in my attempts to persevere with God’s help, I will be posting over at the RWTF blog.

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“Making Rope” – Introduction to Triangles

12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12 New Living Translation)

I remember one interesting training day. After initial foot skills stuff and some shooting  skills. We divided teams of three. For the rest of practice all of their activities involved were completed with the three strands working together.

First we passed the ball through a triangle of cones with different variations. Then came the fun part things go interesting… one set of rope strands, stood back to back in the middle of a circle with their arms locked. Another threesome had to pass around the rope in the middle.  Both teams had to work closely together to accomplish the goal of obtaining or maintaining dominion over the ball.

How many times have I tried to go it alone? God did not create us to be alone  “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Gen 2:18).  When He gave us our initial purpose, He gave it to us collectively and not individually, “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen 1:28)

Yet even knowing this, I allow fear and insecurity to keep me from building relationships and locking arms with those that God has placed around me for the strength that comes from fellowship.

In Acts Chapter 2 the apostles were charged with taking the Good News to a world infested with sin.  And what was the first thing that they did? They established a pattern of rope making that is essential to our success in taking dominion over a damaged and hurting world.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awedcame upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)

Father, help me to always stay entwined with other and not venture out on my own

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“Hurry-up and Wait” – Changing Speed

Basically, the way to get the ball by a defender (taker for us)  is to change direction, change speed, or a combination of the two.  Amazing how quickly we can lose dominion of the ball when we have to change speeds.  “Fast…fast…fast…slow …come back here ball!” Adapting to changes in direction, accelerating, slowing down and then a burst of speed, that is really tough to keep up with!

God’s Speed.  What is that? The bible only uses these words in a warning not wish those who do evil God’s Speed.  (2 John 1:16) So what is Gods speed.  We use it like “good luck” , but it means go in God’s timing.  So what is that?  What is God’s speed limit?  Well, like any journey, that speed varies.  Speed limit signs are actually just that…limits.   Circumstances often dictate speed. Weather and traffic conditions, wondering beast,  and even our own alertness can play a part in the speed at which it is safe.  At times it is acceptable to exceed the speed limit in the case of emergency. (Being late is not an emergency)

The bible is full of speed words (patience, quickly, immediately, wait).  We just need understand how to understand the signs and signals that God provides to each of us to determine the proper speed.

I find myself often plowing forward in pursuits when I should be waiting (jury is still out on this soccer experiment) and at other times I hesitate and miss opportunities to take dominion.  Father, help me to know the speed and direction that you have for me today. Let me hear the rhythm of your voice.

If only it were this easy to know the correct speed:

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