Sport Writer Carys Waters provides some expert pointers to help student athletes aptly prepare before a BUCS Wednesday fixture

Written by Carys Waters
Images by Sophie Peck

The Birmingham Lions BUCS Teams are getting ready for action this week. A lion eats 43 kilograms of meat per day, is that what you need to be at your best on game day? Lions sleep for 20 hours a day, but is all that sleep good for your Birmingham Lions performance? Here are some tips which might be exactly what you need to secure that winning Wednesday feeling.

Ideally, you want to give yourself at least 48 hours of recovery between your last high-intensity session and a match to ensure that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) does not come back to haunt you on gameday. Whilst a light workout the day before keeps the body sharp, DOMS will leave you sore and overworked on match day.

Additionally, hydration is always crucial in the build-up to the big day. Contrary to popular belief, you should avoid consuming energy drinks in days preceding. Energy drinks work best immediately before or during the match, so chugging a litre of Lucozade the day before a competition will probably harm your performance and leave you feeling lethargic.

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. You want to aim for around eight hours on the evening before your event to experience the full benefits. Studies have shown that athletes who don’t sleep for eight hours before gameday are nearly twice as likely to pick up an injury as opposed to those who do. So, stop sending snapchats and start snoring.

Ideally, a pre-match meal should be consumed around three hours before the match. This allows your body enough time to digest the food and use it as energy when you need it. This meal should consist of carbs and protein alongside plenty of water. If you are eating closer to the match, make sure you are consuming small portions of easily digestible food which will not slow you down.

In terms of matchday rituals, every athlete is different so do whatever gets you in the zone! If you want to try something a bit off the wall, you could perhaps emulate ex-footballer Marvin Kamara, who would watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before every game to calm his nerves.

Finally, if you’re taking supplements before competitions in order to aid performance then be sure to check they’re legal using a trusted website such as informed sport or UK anti-doping!