1. Dreaming your way to sporting success with sleep
Sport is just as much about stamina as it is about consistency. Athletes are always looking to gain an edge and sport usually boils down to fine margins. One of the most recommended bits of advice is to get as much sleep as possible. Sport is very intensive and it requires you being at full tilt in order to excel and getting the results you want. For example, when Michael Essien was at Chelsea, he used to sleep on average 14 hours a day. Nowadays, sleep is key to peak performance. Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo normally gets an average of eight hours sleep per night, but what is more extraordinary is that he can squeeze in up to five naps a day! Sleep helps repair and regenerate cells. In the case of sport, sleep can be a matter of life and death, especially when it comes to the dangerous discipline F1, where a slight lapse in concentration could have terrible ramifications.
2. Cutting out smoking to increase performance levels
Sports science has come a long way in the past 20 years or so. You may have come across the supposed halcyon days of smoky snooker halls and the likes of professional darts players sinking a pint before they got involved in the drama on the oche. However, research has shown that stopping smoking can reduce health problems. Indeed, quitting smoking cigarettes can raise your lung capacity by up to 30% within two to three months. Having lungs that don’t operate at full capacity can have an adverse effect. Smoking, as we know, is very addictive and quitting is just as problematic as starting. For some, nicotine pouches can help wean people off smoking. From a sporting perspective, smoking is detrimental as it prevents oxygen getting into your brain, heart and muscles. This therefore means that athletes who smoke will have less endurance than non-smokers. Quitting smoking for some athletes means they can maintain higher energy levels.
3. Food for thought and having a strong diet for sport
There is the saying that you are what you eat. This couldn’t be truer for sport, where putting the right food in your body can mean the difference between success and failure. Prior to when Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal in 1996, the diet of the players was poor as there were times when they used to eat fish and chips as well as mars bars. Of course, things have moved forward a lot in recent years and clubs employ performance analysts and dieticians that help decide what players should be eating. Regardless of the sport, diet is vital. UFC fighter Conor McGregor has embarked on an extensive training camp ahead of UFC 257 where every fine detail has been carefully thought through. While his meals are calorie-filled, there is a good mixture of proteins such as lean chicken and eggs, as well as carbohydrates, which helps keep him in the best shape ahead of his big fight nights.