When playing airsoft, or attending a lengthy MilSim event, it is important to stay hydrated as well as eating healthy throughout the day.
First, we will delve into exactly why it is important to stay hydrated, and eating properly. When playing airsoft, or doing any extended period of vigorous activity, your body requires sustenance, energy, and water. If one decides to skip a meal, or forget a water bottle, it is much more likely that they will tire, or worse, falling victim to conditions such as exhaustion, heat stroke, etc., thus proving ineffective on the field. Remember, like an engine, your body needs fuel and coolant, without them, you will be stuck on the side of the road, helping no one, or yourself.
For fuel, carbohydrates and calories are important, but you need to remember to be eating the right carbs and calories. Although that candy bar may be loaded with both, it is also loaded with sugar, and fast burning carbs. These will more than likely fill you up, but you will feel worse later down the road. When choosing your meal and/or snack(s), it is important to make sure they utilize slow burning carbs, such as things with high fiber, like fruits, vegetables, grains, and pasta, although pasta is more of a \"pre-game meal\". Although the fruits are more fast carbs, they are healthy for you as they are not processed or otherwise tampered with. Meals and/or snacks high in protein will also serve to boost energy and keep up your stamina throughout the day.
For coolant, water is a great choice, although sports drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade, and Propel are also good options. The body needs liquid to stay cool, and when you drink, your body collects liquid (while some is secreted, yes) and uses it in the process of sweating, in which your body releases water from glands in the skin. This works because as the water evaporates, it carries thermal energy away from your body, cooling it. Another main reason for replenishing on liquids is for electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential for maintaining fluid balance and regulating your blood in the body. Going back to drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade, and Propel, although they are beneficial to the body, many people misuse them when drinking them. For optimal gain from them, with the exception of Propel, Powerade and Gatorade should be diluted with water, or they are too strong for the body. I exempt Propel because it has been pre-diluted. These are all essential as they keep the body hydrated, focused, and ready to act. These will help the most to deal with dehydration, heat stroke (which can be fatal), and exhaustion.
Now we moved on to the three stages of eating/drinking, what to eat beforehand, what to eat during, and what to eat after.
Before a long day of airsoft or MilSim play, it is smart to load up on slow burning carbs, as they will provide energy throughout the day, and help keep you on your feet. Foods such as pasta, bread (whole wheat), potatoes, and other similar foods are recommended. Be sure to eat this an hour or more in advance of play, as it will yield the best results.
During the day, it is important to remain satisfied, so snacks such as beef jerky, power bars, sports drinks, and/or water, are suggested. These will help you stay alert and focused throughout the day, and save you from conditions such as hunger, dehydration, and/or heat stroke, under heavy physical labor.
After playing, it is important to keep it up, as your body is still recovering, and still needs nutrients to recover, and rebuild after the days expenses. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates, such as red meat or milk, are highly recommended.
In the end, what you put in, is what comes out in terms of your performance. Eat well, play well.
Moving on, what you wear is also important to staying healthy on the field. As common sense dictates, wear light, airy clothing in hot climates to avoid over exhausting yourself, or giving yourself heat stroke. Combat shirts and light jackets are suggested here, as seen below.
In winter, it is also important to bundle up, although not too much or you again run the risk of heat stroke from over exertion. Yes, you can get heat stroke in the winter. Heavier cloths that do not restrict movement or weigh you down are recommended.
In conclusion, maintaining homeostasis while playing is extremely important, not only to enhance your abilities on the field, but also keeping yourself healthy, and out of harms way when in play. Remember to eat, drink, and dress properly when playing airsoft, and make sure not to overdo yourself, as the damage that can result in permanent damage, or extended at that.
Lost signing out,