Template - Date: This weeks health advice from Sean Porter

HEALTH Tips No2 – 25th September 2017

Tips for Tournament Health – Portion Size I truly believe that most people, including professional and semi-professional Darts players, have some knowledge of certain foods and drinks that have been labeled ‘beneficial’ or ‘detrimental’ to health. However, an area that may not be as clear to everyone is Portion Size.

In many circumstances, the foods we are consuming may be correct for us as individuals, but it is the amount at one time that could be having a negative effect.

As an indictor, although by no means can this be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition, due to multiple factors and individuality, the total number of calories consumed per day should be around 2500 for males and 2000 for females.

As sportspeople, your daily requirements of nutrients, both in terms of quality and quantity are greater to that of a normal person who may not be as physically or mentally active on a daily basis. This however, must still be managed to ensure ‘over-consumption’ of the wrong foods at the wrong time of day does not occur.

To give you an idea of portion size:

  • Imagine the size of a deck of playing cards for meats
  • The size of a small matchbox for cheeses
  • 1 piece of fruit or a handful of berries
  • A small cup full of carbohydrate foods such as rice and pasta and cereals
  • A handful of vegetables
  • A teaspoon of cooking oils (olive, coconut, vegetable)

For further information and the full list of health tips please go to our specific area on the website CLICK HERE

HEALTH TIPS No 1 – 16th September 2017

Tips for Tournament Health – Staying Hydrated Staying hydrated is unquestionably one of the most important aspects of your nutrition as a professional athlete and darts player but arguably one of the most underrated.

We spend a large majority or our time thinking about the food we consume on a daily basis but often neglect the thing that is of key importance in maintaining overall health and ensuring performance levels stay at their maximum.

So what are some of the functions of water in the body and why is it a serious problem that MOST of the population is dehydrated……………..24/7!

  • Aids in controlling your core body temperature at an average of 37°C – a change of as little as 1°C can lead to serious illness and disease.
  • Plasma is the watery substance of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients around the body to keep you healthy and functioning optimally.
  • Lubricates the joints of the body making movements smoother and more efficient – performance as an athlete?
  • Maintains both physiological and neurological functions – allowing you to concentrate and feel energetic throughout the day.

Specifically for a Professional Darts player, life on the road and participating in tournaments for consecutive days at a time can be an extremely tiring experience. One of the biggest contributing factors of fatigue is a lack of hydration.

What are the reasons for this?

  • High levels of sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol – in the correct amounts our bodies will function the way they should.
  • Environmental temperature – warmer conditions leads to greater perspiration and a loss of water.
  • Frequency, intensity and type of exercise – when training and playing in competitions you are physically and mentally more active. Focus, sweating and higher breathing rates all contribute to dehydration.
  • Higher levels of fat tissue – muscle is made of 70% water meaning the more of this you have the more water your body will hold onto.

So just how much water should you be aiming for on a daily basis?

Body Weight (kg) Estimated Daily Water Intake (Litres)
60kg 1.85
65kg 2.00
70kg 2.15
75kg 2.30
80kg 2.45
85kg 2.60
90kg 2.75
95kg 2.90
100kg 3.05

There is a lot of evidence supporting the amount of water an individual should be consuming. Research will show that 70-80% of your daily requirement each day will come from drinking water alone and the remaining 20-30% will come from the foods we eat.

As a golden rule, I believe as a sportsperson, you should be aiming for no less that 2.5 – 3 litres of water every single day. Ideally increasing this on days of travel and competition. Here are a few tips from myself to help:

  • Keep a bottle of water on you at all times during the day – this makes it easy to measure how much you have consumed and set targets.
  • Every morning include a large glass of water with your breakfast to start the day right and boost your energy and concentration levels.
  • If you are drinking alcohol or fizzy drinks (in moderation of course), consume a glass of water in between every one.
  • Keep an eye on the colour of your urine – a clear couloured liquid is desired – the more yellow the more dehydrated you are.

In summary, staying hydrated would be one of the first and in my opinion, one of the easiest things we can change to make a huge difference to your health, fitness levels and performance on stage. Being at the top of your game physically and mentally can be the difference between winning and losing in any sport!

Sean Porter
Sean Porter Health & Fitness