Healthy Hollywood: Prep Like An Athlete

World Cup fever is in full effect! Best excuse (so far) for a bad game – the gorgeous girlfriend! Say what?

Well, some Spanish fans called a red flag on the goalkeeper’s girl after he let in Switzerland’s winning goal citing her as a “distraction” and claiming she was too close to the field prior to the game. Certainly a poor excuse. But, it got me thinking — does sex before a game really affect an athlete’s game?

Are carbs the best fuel before a big run? While few of us will ever be kicking it with Landon Donovan or challenging Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon – who couldn’t use a few pointers on how to get your head in the game. Men’s Fitness Editor-in-Chief, Roy Johnson, shares his wisdom on prepping like a pro.

Sex: What’s your take on sex the night before a big game?

“Good sex – emphasis on ‘good’ - is relaxing, invigorating and assuring. How can you not be at your peak when you’re feeling that way? One caveat: Save the trapeze-swinging-off-the-ceiling sex until after the game. Otherwise, you’ll be thinking about THAT rather than the game at hand.”

Nutrition: Ideal meal to get your brain and body pumping?

“Something nourishing, satisfying, yet not too filling. I like to play hungry. So a breakfast yogurt, granola, berries and maybe egg whites on the side should get your body revved for any challenge.”

Sleep: How many hours do most people need?

“I’m a bad boy in this area because I typically get about six hours of sleep each night, about two short of what ‘they’ - whomever ‘they’ are say I should be getting. Your body does need rest, no question. How much depends on your own chemistry and level of activity during the day. I recommend at least 7 hours for most adults, maybe more for teenagers and older people. Bottom line: If you’re tired all day, you need more sleep!”

Fitness: Any exercise the day/night before competition?

“Something that keeps the body primed for performance without draining you. Light cardio, with maybe a couple of intervals to rev the body battery. Some stretching and drills to stay sharp. You want to break a sweat, but not take a bath.”

Last Words: Any other advice?

“Mental preparation may be most critical of all. Study your strategies and any info you have on your opponent. Then begin to visualize yourself at your peak, doing the things you want to do. Visualize success. Visualize winning.”

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