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Health and Wellness

bowl. The food is just go- ing to sit there, or it’s go- ing to start to digest and get broken down. Your body will have to expend energy to digest the food and the result is that you are going to feel sluggish. Ideally, you should eat

several hours before you bowl. That will allow time for you to digest your food and you will be able to utilize the nutrients and energy that you’ve put into your system. Even if you’re bowling in the morning, a peanut but- ter and jelly sandwich or oatmeal with fruit will sup- ply the proper nutrients to your muscles and your blood. As you get closer your

start time, a little snack such as a protein bar will tide you over. By eating something beforehand, your body won’t have to utilize the stored energy sources as quickly, so you delay the onset of fatigue. As you are bowling,

you want to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks throughout

your block or league ses- sion. Research shows that if you absorb a lot of proteins or carbohydrates while you’re in competi- tion, it will prolong your ability to perform at a high level and will help your body recover quickly. You want more carbs

than protein (ideally a four-to-one ratio), and drinks such as Accelerade and PureSport supply the right amounts. They will help with endurance and strength, and the protein will aid recovery. Plus, when you’re competing it’s usually easier to drink something than to eat something. Once you’ve finished

bowling, it helps to eat something within 30-90 minutes. Pay attention to your

eating habits prior to bowl- ing. Your body, and sub- sequently your score, will tell you if you’ve made the right decisions. — Nick Bohanan is United States Bowling Congress Sports Performance Specialist.


IT’S NO coincidence that Chris Barnes, one of the world’s top bowlers, is one of the game’s most health-conscious ath- letes. One of the reasons Barnes’ game has withstood the test of time is that he works out regularly and pays close at- tention to his diet. “I started paying more attention to my

diet once I turned 25. I noticed I was get- ting a little heavier each year, so I started paying attention and learned what to cut out to keep my weight at a comfortable level. I’m over 40 now, and you just can’t eat the same stuff at the bowling center you used to eat when you were 25! “I want to be up several hours before

I bowl, and try to eat at least an hour be- forehand. You’d like to have more time, but sometimes you just don’t have a choice. If I eat that close to a block it will be a lighter meal. You can’t throw down 1500- 2000 calories and then roll into the bowling center. Your system will totally bog down. “Food-wise, I stay away

from fried foods. They drag you down and don’t really supply you with any en- ergy, either. You want foods that will sus- tain you through a block, or through a


three-hour team league session. “Sometimes between blocks I might

grab a 6-inch Subway sandwich. It’s small, so I don’t take on too many carbs. During the block I might have a snack, but not candy. A protein bar is good because it has enough substance to take away the hunger. “From an energy standpoint, I stay

away from soda while bowling. I don’t need the sugar spikes or the caffeine spikes. It’s hard to stay consistent when your adrenaline jumps and then crashes. “The main thing is to keep things bal-

anced across the board. Over time you’ll learn how your body responds and you’ll be a better bowler.”

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