Photo Credit Healthy Well Lifestyle
Sandra Millward knows how to properly fuel high performance athletes.
As a frequent source of expert nutritional advice in this space, Millward, a certified orthomolecular nutritionist, talked recently about her experience working with the Olympic National Field Hockey Team.
She reveals watermelon to be an excellent source of hydration to beat the heat while in training.
Millward says, “When working with the Olympic Men’s National Field Hockey team during the record heat dome, summer of 2021, I had to find some healthy ways to keep them nourished and hydrated in order to keep cool.
We had traveled to many warm foreign countries together, so it was easy in my own hometown to whip up some healthy cold snacks from my own kitchen. Some of the best things that I made that were tasty, vibrant, and healthy were with watermelon.”
Watermelon contains Vitamin A and C, potassium and magnesium. Think antioxidants and muscle recovery.
Watermelon has high water concentration. This assists in regulating body temperature- no brainer here, hydration to all cells for efficient nutrition delivery, and increasing alertness to the brain.
Most athletes who have “hit the wall”, know how important hydration is.
Watermelon can lower inflammation and oxidative stress. Not only in life, but in sport, too.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called citrulline that may reduce muscle soreness and improve performance.
You can also get Watermelon as a supplement in powder to boost the health benefits.
I believe in boosting when you are pushing your body in performance.
The less sexy, however important factor, in achieving healthy sport goals, in the heat or anytime, is bowel health.
I always (discreetly) managed the bowels of the athletes after travel. It is integral for top performance to have a clean machine!
Watermelon provides hydration and fiber to move the waste from your bowels so that you aren’t holding on to unwanted material or, to have it recirculating through your system. Eat it, utilize it, and let it go!
Holistic style watermelon-strawberry popsicles
• 3 heaping cups cubed watermelon
• 1 heaping cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
• zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
2. Pour into cool looking popsicle molds and freeze 3-4 hours, or until very solid.
Add in some extra electrolyte powder if you have a long run, extended play or it’s dang hot and you are sweating!
This recipe was shared to me from a high school friend, Melanie S. There is lots of flexibility to make it to your own taste.
Watermelon salad- make according to how many you are feeding. I don’t think you need three cases of watermelon like I do for these guys!
Fine diced Serrano chiles
Fine chopped Khalkidhiki olives (which are stuffed with almond)
Fine chopped green or spring onion
Pan toasted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Fine chopped Cilantro
Fresh lime juice and zest to taste
Feta, if desired.
For more information on healthy recipes, go to her website https://radiatewellness.ca/ Remember to use sunscreen, wear a running cap, and limit your time in direct sunlight. Stay safe!
About Steve Erickson