Volume 1, Issue 1
Jon Heck, MS, ATC
*Post Exercise Recovery
*Reporting Athletic Injuries
the first issue of the monthly “Athletic Training Newsletter”.
With this and future issues we hope to inform you in the sports
medicine areas of nutrition, athletic injuries, and improving
your performance. This letter is geared toward the intercollegiate
athlete. Keep on reading.
What and when
you eat after you compete has an important impact on your future
performance. Research has shown that eating carbohydrates
immediately after a practice session or game, speeds the recovery
of your muscles for exercise the next day.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are your muscles
primary fuel for exercise. They should account for 60-70%
of you diet. Carbs are digested and transformed into a sugar
called glucose, which in turn is stored in your muscles as glycogen
(the energy source your muscles need for exercise.)
Carbs are either simple or complex.
Simple carbs are found in soft drinks (Pepsi), candy, fruits, juices
and vegetables. Complex carbs are found in grains, fruits
and vegetables. Complex carbs have a more elaborate molecular
make-up. Because both simple and complex carbs are broken
down into glucose (a simple carb) by your body both are equal sources
of energy for your workout.
The nutritional advantage of getting carbs
from fruits, yogurt, grains, cereals, and vegetables is they provide
vitamins and minerals that your body also needs. Simple carbs
from soft drinks (and the like) provide only energy. Therefore,
they are a less complete source of energy.
Recent literature has shown that eating
50grams of carbohydrate as soon as possible (15-20 minutes) after
intense training will speed your body’s recovery. When simple
carbs are readily available your muscles will recover faster.
50g of carbohydrate equals about 200 calories (1g of carb equals
4 calories). Then 2 hours later you should eat another
50g of carbohydrate. This second 50g dose can be incorporated
into your lunch or dinner.
Some good choices for this include a large
bagel, or 3 rolls, an apple and a cup of juice, or 1.5 cups of pasta.
50g of carbohydrate is not much. You can also use liquid carbs
to help refuel after exercise. One can of Pepsi contains 47g
of carbs, an 8oz glass of juice has about 37g of carbs. So
a can of Pepsi and several pretzels can meet your 50g of carb needs
post exercise (if your in a pinch, because you’ll get no added nutritional
value from these foods). You should become a label reader
to be aware of how many carbs your eating and plan accordingly.
Also be aware that fatty foods slow carbs from reaching your blood
stream. In particular fatty foods should be avoided in your
first 50g carbohydrate refueling.
The more intense your workout the more
important the first 50g dose of carbs become. For this first dose
immediately after practice any type of carb will work. For
your second 50g dose you should incorporate complex carbs (fruits,
vegetables, breads, cereals, yogurt, grains, pasta). You should
incorporate this strategy especially when you have back to back
games or the days before a tournament.
It is important to note that your body
can only use so much carbohydrate post exercise. 50g is adequate
for a 150 lb person, more will not speed recovery further.
Adjust this recommendation to your weight by adding or subtracting
3g of carbohydrate for every 10lbs.
a fancy name for a bruise. It is one of the more common injuries
in sports. It is caused by some type of direct trauma to the
body, such a fall or being hit with a ball. It can occur to
a joint (elbow) to a bone (shins) or to a muscle (quad, the good
ole “Charlie Horse”). Although painful, in most situations
they do not cause any loss of participation time from your sport.
A contusion is an injury where there is
bleeding but no laceration to the skin. The bleeding occurs
when capillaries beneath the outer layer of the skin are damaged.
Since the blood has no place to go, it pools at the injury site.
The red hemoglobin when seen through he skin appears black, purple,
or blue. The intensity of this discoloration differs from
person to person. It also usually takes a couple days for
this discoloration to appear.
Almost immediately after the injury your
body goes to work to stop the bleeding and “plug the leaks.”
Within a day or so the red begins to break down and fade, and within
a week the skin has a green, yellow or orange tint at the bruise
site. These changes are part of your body’s natural healing
process. Hence a hematoma is pooling of dried blood and other
stuff caused by the trauma.
There are several things you can do to
minimize the detrimental effects of a hematoma. The first
step is applying ice held in place with an ace bandage for 20-25
minutes at a time for the first 3 or 4 days. The “compression”
applied helps decrease the bleeding from the injury. The use
of ice constricts the local blood vessels to decrease bleeding and
also protects the healthy tissue around the injured site by lowering
its metabolism. The ace bandage should be used for compression
over the next few days to help in the reabsorption of the hematoma
by your body. With more serious contusions rehabilitation
exercises may be needed to aid the reabsorption of the contusion
and return the injured area to normal strength levels.
have an athletic injury you should make sure the athletic training
staff knows about it, regardless of the severity. This also
holds for any type of illness you may have (flu, mono, etc.) that
could in anyway effect your athletic performance or impact other
members of your team. In other words, I should be consulted
regarding all health related issues you may have.
This will allow me to make sure:
*All of your injuries are properly documented
and covered by our athletic insurance policy.
*You receive proper treatment, care and
rehabilitation of your injury. This will ensure you do not
miss any practices or games or the time you must miss is kept to
an absolute minimum.
*You are referred to the correct type of
physician (if necessary) and that you are seen in a timely manner.
*All proper referral procedures are followed
to ensure the injury/illness is covered by insurance.
You should never see a doctor without
at least consulting one of the Certified Athletic Trainers first,
unless it is an emergency situation.
If you are injured at practice be sure
to inform the student athletic trainers covering your sport.
If you are hurt during a game make sure I am aware of your injury
before you leave the game field. This will ensure appropriate
treatment can begin that will minimize the effects of the injury.
a few time- lines you should commit to memory regarding Athletic
The Athletic Training Room is open Monday
thru Friday 9:30am - 3pm and Evenings Monday-Thursday 7-9:30pm for
rehabilitation, evaluations, and consultation regarding athletic
injuries. If you have a problem or injury this is the time
to talk about it, have it evaluated, or complete your assigned rehabilitation.
*For practices report to the Athletic Training
Room 1/2 hour before practice. No one will be taped at the
*For games, we arrive 1 1/2 hours before
game time for all pre-game preparation, including taping and treatments.