Okay, the title is a bit misleading. I’m sure if we polled a group of successful athletes they are probably doing one maybe two of these three things. However, for athletes who want maximum performance, and become highly successful they really should aim to do all three of these habits every day.
The fascinating thing is these three aspects are not so much related to what an athlete does in the gym, but outside the gym. These three habits are geared toward helping young athletes recover because athletes who do not manage recovery will never perform their ultimate best.
Suffice to say; these three routines are activities, where at HPI Training, we harp on our athletes about to the point of being annoying. This is how important they all are.
1. Sleep 8 to 9 hours/night
I hear a lot of young athletes tell me they are just fine with seven or fewer hours of sleep per night. The funny thing is, they think they are just fine, the truth is they have become numb to sleep deprivation. For adults the CDC says anytime an adult goes two nights straight of less than seven hours of sleep, they are sleep deprived.
From a mental health standpoint, adequate sleep is vast. But from a performance standpoint, there are a plethora of studies showing youth athletes who are sleep deprived are twice as likely to get hurt, and this number goes up as sleep goes down.
However, this also does not mean sleeping twelve hours one-night will make-up for sleeping six hours the previous two nights.
2. Drink at least 64 ounces of water/day
Similar to sleep deprivation many young athletes are dehydrated without realizing it. To emphasize how important hydration is, it’s probably worth reminding everyone how our body is 70% water. Hydration is vital for proper bodily function from joint health to even vitamin absorption.
To gauge your hydration status, a simple, low-tech method is merely observing your urine. If it is a pale straw yellow color, you are alright. If it is clear you can probably slow down. If it is dark, then you need to be drinking a lot more water.
3. Eat at least five servings of vegetables/day
Honestly, this might be the hardest of the three. Nobody, whether they admit it or not likes their vegetables, and while supplements do help, they should not replace actual vegetable consumption. Regardless, there are so many benefits behind vegetable consumption we would need a whole separate blog. This being said, the easiest way to determine whether or not you’re eating a serving is to use your fist for measurement. A serving of vegetables should be roughly the same size as your fist.
If you are doing all three of these habits, I applaud you and keep up the excellent work. Are you doing one or two of these every day? Then you are on the right path, and we can help you get all three! And those of you doing none of the items. Come in, and we would be more than happy to get you started.
Truth is, the harder we work in the gym, and at practice, the more important what we do outside the gym becomes, and when we check of all three of these boxes we are setting ourselves up for a greater chance of success.