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Maintaining hydration and blood sugar

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I am shooting a CA state USPSA match tomorrow and was wondering what I should consume throughout the day to keep my energy up.

What does everyone out there like to do on the range to keep your mind and body sharp?

I was thinking plenty of water obviously with an assortment of different fruits and nuts throughout the day.

I was also curious how many people drink coffee or some sort of caffeine before a pistol match?

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I like to eat small snacks ( apple, banana, trail mix, almonds, dark chocolate). My lunch is on the lighter side (turkey sandwich, sun chip). I usually just drink water, and will some times bring a poweraid. I try not to get to the point where I am very hungry, very full, or thirsty.

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In the summer months in Fl I try to at least finish a bottle per stage. Dehydration is a killer on your scores. If you are sweating a lot then add any sports drink to get your electrolytes back. Food is small and often, dried fruit, nuts, protein bars all are good options. Remember by the time you feel that you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.

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For longer matches I usually bring a cooler with plenty of water, granola bars, fig newtons, M&Ms and a couple apples.

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Water for drinks.No sodas.My go to food is an apple.Keeps me on an even keel without being full.

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Those little fruit cups are handy to have because you don't need to actually touch them with your hands to eat them. Snack bars, jerky, etc are go-tos for me as well. Fig newtons are awesome too :) For drinks, I'll drink a little caffeine in the morning to perk me up then use the snacks to keep me going. Plenty of plain water or water mixed with electrolyte mix. Gatorade has too much sugar in it for me so I use other stuff.

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Protein, protein, and more protein. EAS Protein drinks are convenient and work well to maintain focus throughout the entire match. And, Zone Perfect Nutrition bars are also high protein, low glycemic.

Any sugar causes an insulin over-shoot in my body and causes poor performance a stage, or two, down the line. Always!

I've had the best success at keeping focus and endurance with the EAS Protein Drinks.

More protein than you think you'll need seems to be the correct answer. Taking nutrition early is important to me -- once I'm behind the curve, all is lost. I force myself to drink a protein shake after stage 2 and again after stage 4, whether I'm hungry or not.

These two products are available at Target stores in the Pharmacy department. That makes getting them easy and possible on the road.

Hydration has been an even bigger problem to solve. There's really no good research on this topic, surprisingly. Personally, high sodium drinks don't help me much. So, G2 (low glycemic) doesn't help much. Poweraide (Zero!!!!), which is high in Potassium, does seem to work, however. But, the trace minerals are the really important ones -- magnesium in particular. I use a product from a company called Trace Minerals, which is the only thing I've found that works in the intense heat of the desert. Their products are available on line, and at good nutrition stores. Their best product, in my experience, is called "Power Pak" and works really well to replace important minerals that are lost during a match. This product has allowed me to continue shooting during Summer months when nothing else helped.

I've also learned that hydrating for days before a big match and for days after a big match are essential habits to employ. On the day of a match, in Summertime, I'll drink at least a gallon of water, a liter of Poweraide, and several Vitamin Water drinks (20 oz., I think). I'll mix one of the trace mineral packets in a Vitamin Water on really hot days. I've discussed this regimen with my doctor and he approves. His only concern was around the mineral Iodine, so be sure you're not taking a supplement with too much of that.

Edited by August

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I agree, August. The human male needs a lot of protein for optimal brain and body function, especially when active. If we take in more than we need, the body just eliminates the protein not used.

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Where is the match located?

At Norco, we can choose water or Gator Aid followed by BBQ'd monkey or poodle.........

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Pedialyte is a lot better for you than Gatorade. It's designed and marketed for babies but works great for adults, too. Get the powder kind and mix it with a bottle of water. And most of us Southern boys know the value of watermelon in the energy and hydration it provides, especially in very hot and humid weather.

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I invested in a 12v dc cooler to keep in the car, this summer is going to be alot easier for planning my matches food!

No more gas station stock ups on the way. Plenty of water, ( in addition to a full camelback for the half the day that I am working) little bit of jerky, homemade trail mix, an orange, some homemade fruit leather, a turkey sandwhich and a vanilla coke to celebrate the days end. ( It is rare like gold up here, so it really is for special occaisons only)

Also keep a little pack of what is called DEX4, just incase start feeling woozy from low blood sugar, they get me right as rain really quick.

Edited by elbandito

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My normal match routine of multiple red bulls, chocolate milk, diet coke, and gatorade let me down a bit over the weekend in Vegas at the Bad Beat. 2 days later I still feel dehydrated.

Next time I think I need more chocolate milk.

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On days with mild temperature, I just drink water. If it is hot or humid or such that I'll be sweating I will still drink water but also take a pill of electrolyte replacements. This way I get the benefit like from a sports drink but no sugar. Find them at REI, running stores and bicycle shops. I use the ones from Hammer most often.

Along with not drinking caffeine, I try to avoid anything that is a diuretic. I can go 4 hours without eating, but if the match is longer than that time I do need to add some food. This varies but I take into account I don't normally have an easy way to wash my hands, it needs to not require refrigeration and I will probably only have one minute to eat it.

Maybe I'm not rugged enough, but I wonder how the people do it who I see drinking coffee at their car, then a redbull during the match, dipping chew and pulling a sandwich from a cooler to totally consume during a 5 hour period. That just seems like it would kill me and really effect my performance in a negative way....

Edited by rowdyb

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Maybe I'm not rugged enough, but I wonder how the people do it who I see drinking coffee at their car, then a redbull during the match, dipping chew and pulling a sandwich from a cooler to totally consume during a 5 hour period. That just seems like it would kill me and really effect my performance in a negative way....

It makes sense to me to do your normal routine. My normal routine is one big cup of coffee (drunk fairly slowly), and some snacks (leftover pizza, sammiches, etc....) and plenty of water. I have coffee, snacks in the morning, plenty of water, and lunch every day, whether I'm dirtbiking in the woods, riding mtn bikes with the dogs, going to work, or going to a pistol match. No reason for me to do anything different.

Shooting has almost no physical stress for a non-sedentary person, it's all mental, so do what it takes to keep your mind sharp.

Edited by motosapiens

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A shooting buddy of mine turned me onto two products from Advocare for staying properly hydrated, mental clarity, and maintaining energy. One major limitation I have with these kind of supplements is that I am diabetic and can't do sugar or carbs or by blood sugar gets all out of whack. The Advocare stuff works great with my diabetic dietary requirements. This is going to sound like a commercial, but I want to point out up front, that I use this stuff personally and pay full price for it. I am not compensated or sponsored by Advocare in any way. This is a 100% honest, unbiased opinion of these products based on my own experience using them.

The first Advocare product is called "Spark". Spark is best used for waking you up in the morning and basically does the same thing as a 5 hour energy, Energy Drinks, or Coffee. The advantage that Spark has is that is not too powerful giving you the caffeine jitters or shakes. Its also packed with vitamins and nutrients that help sustain your mental clarity for many hours. Its made in many different flavors so you can get whatever flavor you prefer. I get the "Tub" size of Spark powder and use one full scoop of powder in a 12 oz glass of cold water. It takes a little while of mixing to get all of the powder to fully dissolve but once its dissolved I drink the whole glass in one quick setting. The main thing I really like about this product is that it makes me mentally alert early in the morning when I would otherwise be groggy and there isn't a noticeable "crash" in alertness or energy later on. The link below will take you to the Advocare website that talks about the Spark product.

https://www.advocare.com/products/Active/A2094.aspx

The second Advocare product is called "Rehydrate". Rehydrate is best used for maintaining your hydration and energy level through the day while at the range. If the weather at the range is in the 60's or 70's and you are not feeling "hot" I really don't notice much of a difference in using Rehydrate verses drinking plain water. Where this product really shines is when its HOT at the range and you are sweating quite a bit. When drinking Rehydrate I have seen a dramatic improvement in my mental clarity as well as energy level while outdoors for many hours in very hot / sweaty conditions, verses drinking the same amount of plain water. I get the "Tub" size of the Rehydrate powder and use 4 scoops in a 1 Gallon jug of water. Then force myself to take a decent chug from it when I get to a stage, and right before I leave a stage. If I have stayed on that "Twice a stage" drinking regiment I will have consumed the whole gallon over a long day at the range shooting 8 - 10 stages. For a local club match I will usually drink about half a gallon since the time at the match and outdoor is usually half as long as attending a full day at the range at major matches. I was skeptical about this actually working as the first few times I used it in "pleasant" range conditions didn't yield any mental or energy difference verses drinking plain water. But then I tried it on a super hot day where I was sweating pretty much all day long and was very surprised how I mentally clear I was by the end of the match along with not feeling run down with reduced energy. Basically, the more you sweat, the more effective Rehydrate is.

https://www.advocare.com/products/Active/A2412.aspx

One thing I really like about using these Advocare Spark & Rehydrate powders is that I can easily take these with me while traveling to major matches. I make "Serving" packets with little zip lock bags for each day of the match and simply add them to the appropriate quantities of plain water and mix it up the morning of the match before I leave the hotel. Finding a bottled water or gallon jugs of water is super easy no matter where you go so its a very effective strategy when traveling to major matches. This stuff isn't magic and the basic hydration rules still apply. The basic rule of "If you are not peeing regularly, you are not drinking enough" still applies. The same goes for not drinking until you "Feel" thirsty. By the time you "Feel" thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated. If you Drink and Pee frequently you will be a lot better off than not doing those things regardless of what you put in the water to assist in the hydration or nutrition process.

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But, the trace minerals are the really important ones -- magnesium in particular. I use a product from a company called Trace Minerals, which is the only thing I've found that works in the intense heat of the desert. Their products are available on line, and at good nutrition stores. Their best product, in my experience, is called "Power Pak" and works really well to replace important minerals that are lost during a match. This product has allowed me to continue shooting during Summer months when nothing else helped.

I learned this secret years ago from playing paintball in the 100*+ heat here. But I use a trace mineral liquid and add about 40 drops to a Gatorade.

On really hot days, If I drink this early and water the rest of the day - I found my mental focus remained good and I was not as tired at the end of the day.

No combination of water and Gatorade made a difference like the trace minerals did.

I'll try the Power Pak this weekend and see how it performs. We have 105* and 102* days this weekend. :devil:

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A shooting buddy of mine turned me onto two products from Advocare for staying properly hydrated, mental clarity, and maintaining energy. One major limitation I have with these kind of supplements is that I am diabetic and can't do sugar or carbs or by blood sugar gets all out of whack. The Advocare stuff works great with my diabetic dietary requirements. This is going to sound like a commercial, but I want to point out up front, that I use this stuff personally and pay full price for it. I am not compensated or sponsored by Advocare in any way. This is a 100% honest, unbiased opinion of these products based on my own experience using them.

The first Advocare product is called "Spark". Spark is best used for waking you up in the morning and basically does the same thing as a 5 hour energy, Energy Drinks, or Coffee. The advantage that Spark has is that is not too powerful giving you the caffeine jitters or shakes. Its also packed with vitamins and nutrients that help sustain your mental clarity for many hours. Its made in many different flavors so you can get whatever flavor you prefer. I get the "Tub" size of Spark powder and use one full scoop of powder in a 12 oz glass of cold water. It takes a little while of mixing to get all of the powder to fully dissolve but once its dissolved I drink the whole glass in one quick setting. The main thing I really like about this product is that it makes me mentally alert early in the morning when I would otherwise be groggy and there isn't a noticeable "crash" in alertness or energy later on. The link below will take you to the Advocare website that talks about the Spark product.

https://www.advocare.com/products/Active/A2094.aspx

The second Advocare product is called "Rehydrate". Rehydrate is best used for maintaining your hydration and energy level through the day while at the range. If the weather at the range is in the 60's or 70's and you are not feeling "hot" I really don't notice much of a difference in using Rehydrate verses drinking plain water. Where this product really shines is when its HOT at the range and you are sweating quite a bit. When drinking Rehydrate I have seen a dramatic improvement in my mental clarity as well as energy level while outdoors for many hours in very hot / sweaty conditions, verses drinking the same amount of plain water. I get the "Tub" size of the Rehydrate powder and use 4 scoops in a 1 Gallon jug of water. Then force myself to take a decent chug from it when I get to a stage, and right before I leave a stage. If I have stayed on that "Twice a stage" drinking regiment I will have consumed the whole gallon over a long day at the range shooting 8 - 10 stages. For a local club match I will usually drink about half a gallon since the time at the match and outdoor is usually half as long as attending a full day at the range at major matches. I was skeptical about this actually working as the first few times I used it in "pleasant" range conditions didn't yield any mental or energy difference verses drinking plain water. But then I tried it on a super hot day where I was sweating pretty much all day long and was very surprised how I mentally clear I was by the end of the match along with not feeling run down with reduced energy. Basically, the more you sweat, the more effective Rehydrate is.

https://www.advocare.com/products/Active/A2412.aspx

One thing I really like about using these Advocare Spark & Rehydrate powders is that I can easily take these with me while traveling to major matches. I make "Serving" packets with little zip lock bags for each day of the match and simply add them to the appropriate quantities of plain water and mix it up the morning of the match before I leave the hotel. Finding a bottled water or gallon jugs of water is super easy no matter where you go so its a very effective strategy when traveling to major matches. This stuff isn't magic and the basic hydration rules still apply. The basic rule of "If you are not peeing regularly, you are not drinking enough" still applies. The same goes for not drinking until you "Feel" thirsty. By the time you "Feel" thirsty you are already significantly dehydrated. If you Drink and Pee frequently you will be a lot better off than not doing those things regardless of what you put in the water to assist in the hydration or nutrition process.

Good info, thanks for taking the time to write it up.

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Local matches here are @ 4 hours in the desert sun. I start drinking as much Diet Mt. Dew (yeah, I know but I like the taste and the caffeine) as I can starting as soon as I wake up. I don't wait till I get to the range/thirsty. I'll bring more DMD and water to the range and drink throughout the day. Since it is only 4 hours I don't need to eat but bring Smarties in case my blood sugar starts to drop. I'm Type 1 diabetic.

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