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St. Francis Sports Medicine Newsletter | June 2010

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Fuel in the Tank
Here are some simple nutrition guidelines for high performance athletes:
 
The night before a sporting event, eat a high-carb meal that includes a good amount of protein. About 3-4 hours before the event, eat a balance of easily-digested carbs and proteins. Remember to drink plenty of fluids the day before, day of, and during the event.
 
Carbs are a great source of energy that can be broken down into simple sugars. Unused carbs are stored as fat.

Fat has the highest concentration of energy, but is difficult to access. The energy in fat is best accessed by endurance athletes like runners, cyclists, soccer players and triathletes.

Protein is an essential component of an athlete's diet because it repairs fatigued muscles, speeds recovery and builds muscle.

Proper nutrition can get your motor running and keep you in high gear long after the competition fades.

 

Greetings!

It's summertime! More daylight and (hopefully) a more relaxed schedule can mean more time to participate in the sport of your choice. In this issue, you'll find tips about beating the summer heat, why nutrition is important before a big event, and new options for medical care after hours.
 
Remember, if you experience a sports injury, we're available 24/7 at 864-675-HURT.
 
To learn more about St. Francis Sports Medicine from one of our experts, please email Rodney Dender.
 

Training in the Heat

Rising temperatures during the summer can make exercise a challenge. Generally, overall performance declines as the temperature increases above our comfort levels. Sometimes, the effects of heat can be more severe. Sadly, about four or five high school athletes in the U.S. die each year from heat related illness. Thankfully there are simple steps to take to minimize your chance of experiencing the deleterious effects of heat.

Every year this time of year people are reminded to dress lightly, drink more water and other fluids, and decrease activity especially during the hottest hours of the day. These are all good tips but athletes need to stay active, and some sports require playing during very hot and humid conditions.
 
Why do some athletes seem to handle the heat better than others? Although part of the answer is related to genes and body type, a big part is how the athlete prepares for the heat.

First, allowing your body to adapt, or acclimatize, to the heat is the key to avoiding heat related problems. This involves exposing yourself to heat with a lower level of exertion than you are used to, and gradually increasing the time and intensity of your workouts in the heat. It takes at least five days to see significant adaptations, and often your body will continue to adapt further for up to three months.

Listening to your body is the second key to avoiding heat problems. The human body usually is very good about telling the brain when it is getting too hot. Usually if your body can't stay cool enough by using its normal measures like sweating, you will become fatigued. If you become more tired than usual in your workout, take a break, get some fluids and and find a cool spot to rest for a while. DO NOT try to just play through this fatigue, as this could be the start of heat illness. This can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and ultimately death.

Another way to avoid heat illness is to train using the "buddy" system. Sometimes signs of heat problems are subtle and you and your buddy can monitor each other for changes in mood or mental status as well as fatigue, and prompt you to cool down. If someone has significant mental status changes or severe fatigue due to heat, 911 should be called and they should be cooled as soon as possible.
 
If athletes repeatedly have problems in the heat, they may benefit from visiting a physician trained in managing heat illnesses. Hopefully, by taking these steps, your body will keep you "cool" in the summer.
 
Be Prepared When Injury (or Illness) Strikes
 
It's happened to us all - it's 4:00 on Friday afternoon and you start feeling sick. Or you're playing with your kids in the backyard on Saturday and think you've sprained an ankle. What to do? Suffer through the weekend and wait until Monday for a doctor's visit? Chance an expensive visit to the ER? Since injuries and illnesses can happen anytime, St. Francis has several ways to keep you healthy 24/7:

675-HURT: This after hours sports injury line gets you in touch with a nurse practitioner or athletic trainer who can offer advice for at-home treatment, or can get you a priority appointment time with one of our board certified, expert Sports Medicine physicians. In the event of a more serious injury, 675-HURT can even provide call-ahead ER service. Take a minute now to program 675-HURT (675-4878) into your phone so you'll always be prepared when injury strikes.

After Hours Care @ Cross Creek: Conveniently located on the corner of Faris Road and Grove Road in Cross Creek Medical Park, this extended hours care offers primary care with the top-quality Internal Medicine and Primary Care physicians of the Bon Secours Medical Group - the same physicians that Upstate families have trusted for generations.

After Hours Care provides treatment for a variety of minor illnesses and injuries and is open Saturdays from 9 am - 6 pm and Sundays from 10 am - 6 pm. No appointment is necessary - simply walk in and feel better. Learn more and get maps and directions > >