Monday, July 22, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
How much water should I be drinking?
- Due to variables such as heat, humidity, body composition and exercise intensity, it is very difficult to determine a universal amount of water that should be consumed by each individual. Since everyone is built differently, a simple way to make sure that you are staying properly hydrated is by checking the color of your urine. Whereas colorless or light yellow urine typically suggests proper hydration, dark yellow or amber-colored urine could be a sign of dehydration.
- According to the American Council on Fitness, the following basic water intake guidelines are suggested for individuals performing moderate-to-high intensity exercise:
- Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
- Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up
- Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
- Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
- Dark yellow or amber-colored urine
- Nausea or dizziness
- Muscle Cramps
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth or sticky saliva
- Mental confusion
- Loss of consciousness
Severe dehydration or heat illness can be very serious and sometimes life threatening. If you or a teammate experiences any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Are there any sites that I can check out to learn more about staying properly hydrated this summer?
As you continue your off-season workouts this summer, remember to eat right and stay HYDRATED. Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of performing healthy physical activity and ensuring that your body is able to perform at its highest level.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
You may remember the days of childhood. It was common to get a cold, flu bug, or other type of illness. Trips to the doctor were never fun, but you knew that the word medicine meant a way to get better. Medicine helped get over the illness and back to school, back to the playground, and back with your friends. You knew that a doctor was prescribing you with the medication to help you recover. However, as you get older, you start to realize that some people abuse these same medications.
According to drugs.com, drugs that are safe and effective for use by the general public, without a prescription, are defined as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. These drugs are often located on shelves in pharmacies, as well as non-pharmacy outlets. A few examples include grocery stores, convenience stores, and large discount retailers. In the U.S., there are more than 80 classes of OTC drugs. These range from allergy medications, to pain relievers, to weight loss products.
Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, they are sometimes abused. You could define abusing medications as someone taking a medication in ways or amounts other than what has been instructed in directions or by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed to. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans, ages 14 and older. This is according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, the most commonly abused prescription drugs are: opioid pain relievers, stimulants for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants for relieving anxiety. The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold remedies containing dextromethorphan.
Many people believe that prescription drugs and OTC drugs are safer to use than illicit drugs. This is only true when they are taken exactly as prescribed and for the purpose intended. When these prescription and OTC drugs are abused, they can become addictive and put abusers at risk for other adverse health effects. This includes overdose, especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol.
There is more than one way for prescription and OTC drugs to be abused. These include taking a medication that has been prescribed for somebody else, taking a drug in a higher quantity or another manner than prescribed, and taking a drug for another purpose than prescribed.
We usually think of drug abuse issues as illicit drugs. However, licit drugs (legal for prescription) are a huge abuse issue. Whether they are being deliberately abused, or accidentally abused while taking them for a medical purpose, the results are disturbing. People abuse over-the-counter (OTC) products to get high, zone out, hallucinate, etc. Often times this abuse involves youth since these products are so readily available, either in the home medicine cabinet or simply for purchase.
The importance of educating our youth about the risks associated with the use and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs need not go overlooked. Some of the same “medicines” that we have come to lean on during periods of illness, can harm our kids, family, and friends.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Always remember, you are not alone and there are individuals that are willing to help!
For more information on drug abuse and addiction, please visit the following resources:
Monday, April 15, 2013
Social norms represent our perceptions of the behaviors and attitudes of others. Expectations about alcohol, marijuana, and other harmful substances can be powerful influences on behavior. Would you say most student athletes engage in the use of harmful substances? Would you say that most student athletes engage in alcohol, marijuana, or cigarette use? Our perceptions vary among individuals. Data from Prevention Strategies shows that 12.30% of student athletes use marijuana and 7.90 use cigarettes. The data that was provided validates that a very small percentage of student athletes are using tobacco products, marijuana, and alcohol.
Student athletes reported being drunk on an average of 1.4 times in the past 30 days. However, there were a range of answers on this question from 0 to 30 days and the most common answer was 0 days of getting drunk. This shows you that the perception should be shed in a positive light that most student athletes don’t engage in the use of harmful substances. You can also look at it from how you feel about teammates engaging in harmful substances. Out of 5,000 student athletes, 76.1% disapprove of their teammates getting intoxicated frequently.
Some other facts regarding alcohol may not surprise you. In a 2009 NCAA Study of Substance Use of College Student Athletes, overall (Division I, II, III), 83.1% of respondents indicated drinking within the last 12 months. This is factual evidence for both men and women. This is an increase from the 2005 study that showed 77.5%. This leaves the perception, and social norm, that there is an increase in young students engaging in alcohol use over the years. Only 12.6% of these students reported never using alcohol, 47% used alcohol less than two days per week, 54% indicated drinking during both their competitive and off season. The scary part about these statistics is that the majority of respondents indicated obtaining alcohol from a friend, family member, or teammate.
Student athletes are expected to be great at what they do. They are asked to maintain a high level of performance, both athletically and academically. All of this occurs under the constant scrutiny of coaches, teammates, fans, and media. Many problems start well before college and some escalate to levels that require intervention from coaches, parents, etc. Student athletes are different from the rest of the student population and because of their constant exposure and elevated status on campus, college student athletes are typically placed in situations that cause stress and anxiety.
Here are some examples of pressures that student athletes face:
· Balancing sports and academics
· Adapting to social challenges
· Success and failure on field and in the classroom
· Weight management
· Sports career ends due to injury or eligibility.
According to the Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery Magazine, coping strategies are tools for dealing with stress without returning to substance abuse. A coping strategy is a personal action plan. It identifies a particular stressor or trigger for substance use, includes an understanding of why or how that particular situation encourages an individual to use, and articulates specific physical and mental actions to counter this influence. It is highly recommended that individuals looking to avoid substance use should avoid places, people, and situations that are connected to their social challenges. Small things such as the time of day and music can also make a difference.
For example, if a recovering alcoholic returns to his favorite bar at night (his habitual time for drinking), sees all his old buddies drinking, and hears his favorite drinking song on the jukebox, his ability to avoid relapse becomes seriously compromised. The place, time of day, people and music are all triggering emotional responses that encourage him to drink. An effective coping strategy, in this case, is to avoid a situation that holds such strong triggers.
Student athletes need to realize that there will always be challenges you face in life. Athletes have a lot to lose. We see it all the time in amateur, collegiate, and professional athletics. There are harmful substances around us, people engage in them, but what will you do? What decisions will you make knowing the affects it can cause? The time will come when you will face challenging decisions. There are supporters around you; use them wisely and always remember that the decision is in your hands.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Each year, approximately 13,500 samples are collected and analyzed through the NCAA's national drug-testing program, with the bulk of those tests focused primarily on performance-enhancing drugs (NCAA year-round testing). The NCAA tests at championship events in all three divisions at least once every five years and with some championships tested every year. During championship events, student-athletes are screened for steroids, diuretics and masking agents, stimulants, peptide hormones, anti-estrogens, beta-2 agonists, beta-blockers and street drugs.