Forgive me for posting this the day after! Sunday was a little hectic. My main concern this day was how my body would react to two hours of roller hockey. I’ve been playing hockey on Sunday morning for about 14 years now. I am pretty dedicated so I play nearly every single Sunday, which is approximately 700 games in that timespan. I’ve learned a lot about my body from all this experience, and I’ve gotten a routine down. Since I play early (7-9 AM), I can’t really eat prior to the game. Therefore I must make sure I eat well the night before, in addition to staying hydrated throughout the day, and getting good sleep (which is sometimes tough on a Saturday night). Many years ago my wife and I tried the South Beach diet, which restricts carbohydrate intake. We lost some weight, but I could tell that it really affected my hockey playing. I simply didn’t have any energy. Experiences like that helped shape my hockey routine. So how would my juice fast affect my play?
To stay true to the juice fast, I also was avoiding drinking my usual pre-game drink (a Gatorade “1” or Emergen-C), plus only drinking water during the game instead of my usual Gatorade. I’m trying to avoid any processed food or sugars. The night before I made some citrus juice of lemons, limes, and oranges to try to get some extra carbs in my body for the night. Sunday morning before I left to play I drank 8 oz of the fruit juice I made the night before, plus probably 12 oz more of water. When I got to the rink and started skating, I felt a little weaker than usual and I thought I might be in trouble. But after a little while of playing, I actually felt good. This lasted for about an hour. Then I suddenly realized I was getting fatigued.
I recognized it pretty quickly. I simply didn’t have the energy I am accustomed to. I pride myself on having good stamina and being able to outlast most of the other players in the later stages of the game so I’m pretty familiar with how my body feels during hockey. This was not a good sign. I still had an hour to go and I body was telling me that it was exhausted. But there was no way I was stopping, so I played on. The strange thing was that even though I felt exhausted, I still felt good. As I substituted in and out, the short breaks allowed me to quickly recharge and get back out there. I was even able to score a tough goal toward the end of the two hours. But make no mistake, I was drained when we were done. For one of the only times I can remember, I was actually watching the clock, looking forward to the end of the game. Usually, I feel like I can still play longer, and in fact I have played additional 2 hour sessions before.
In the past when I’ve been exhausted after playing hockey, I’m totally beat all the way through getting back home, taking a shower, and getting something to eat. But this time, something interesting happened. As I did while I was playing, once I took a break, I seemed to perk back up quickly. Sure enough after I got changed and was packing up to go home, I actually felt really good. Yes, my muscles were tired and a bit sore as usual, but my fatigue seemed to be gone. I actually felt a little hyper. Driving home, I was no longer exhausted, but rather felt energized. I can only attribute this to the fact that my body is operating very efficiently because of all the nutrients in the juices.
The rest of the day I drank some extra juice throughout and only once did I have a very slight headache, which was very brief as I quickly drank a juice and it was gone. I often fall asleep on Sundays after playing hockey. However, I did not this time. I wonder if juicing had anything to do with it.
So I’ve now completed one full week on juicing and have survived the temptations of the weekend as well as the exhaustion of my hockey Sunday. I’ve only got three more days to go and I’m looking forward to finishing the full 10 days. My body feels good, I don’t really have any cravings anymore, and I can’t imagine that the next three days could be harder than any I’ve done so far.