Surviving football season with smart choices

Health tips for surviving football season

Don’t let your health stand in the way of being the best fan possible
August 31, 2016

The boys of fall are back, and thousands of fans are starting to flood football stadiums—ready to rally their team to victory come rain, shine, sleet or snow. Here are tips for surviving football season and to make sure you score a touchdown during your game-day experience.

Don't let the elements tackle your day

First Down: Be wary of the elements

Football players are constantly surrounded by plenty of water, large fans, towels, and ice packs, and the sidelines shouldn’t be any different. Dehydration and heat exhaustion aren’t ailments exclusively on the field.

Standing outside for hours (tailgating included) increases your chance of dehydration, sunburn, and heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Drink plenty of water, keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, and be sure to wear sunblock and bring extra to reapply and share as needed. If you feel like the heat is overwhelming, go indoors and cool off.

A nutritious meal and snacks can keep your energy up all day

Second Down: Eat well

Nothing beats a winning tailgate. With a grill, TV, cooler, and a football to toss around, you can stay outside all day. Start with a healthy breakfast to keep your strength and energy up for the long day ahead. If you plan on munching on multiple meals at the tailgate, have some healthy options available.

A fruit tray with low-fat dip is a great alternative to chips and can keep your diet strong. Also, grilling vegetables with burgers, or opting for leaner meat like turkey burgers, can add some zest to your menu options.

Too many drinks can lead to a flag on the play

Third Down: Be an adult about adult beverages

If you plan on partaking in adult beverages, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated, and always have a designated driver. Alcohol can have various effects on your body, including dehydration, so make responsible choices and drink at least one glass of water with every alcoholic beverage to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.

You should also be aware of all alcohol guidelines at your tailgate area and inside the stadium.

It's not whether you win or lose; it's about getting home safely to do this again next week

Fourth Down: Punt it away

An all day football game excursion can be exhausting and even a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re standing in the student section at Kyle Field, or sitting in a shaded area, be sure to know where the nearest medical station is—in the event you start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion or dehydration.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution, however, when it comes to your game-day experience, and more importantly, your health. If you start to feel ill, it’s probably smart to head home and give yourself a mandatory bye-week, and save your energy for the next game-day.

— Dominic Hernandez

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