We are partial to a festival here at TeamLDNM, and it has been great to meet so many of you guys at events such as Hideout, WeAreFstvl and SW4. We get a lot of people asking how to limit the damage of these endeavours, as they aren’t ideal for your aesthetics.
Over the course of the weekend, you’re likely to lose your phone, wallet, shoes and friends but you don’t want to lose the progress you have made in the past few months. All day drinking, little sleep and unsanitary conditions aren’t conducive to staying in shape and avoiding illness – but it’s what makes them fun.
So it’s a case of damage limitation while still having a good time. Here are a few tips to try and minimise your loses!
It’s all in the preparation:
Rest up beforehand. There’s no point going to a weekend festival when you’re already tired and your body feels like it’s been hit by a train– you’re just asking to get ill. For the few days leading up to the festival, taper you training, sleep and eat well.
Plan what you need to take. Disposable BBQs, gas burner or solid fuel burners are a must if you want to cook food or have hot drinks. I find the best foods to take are:
- Tinned fish,
- Corned Beef,
- Tinned Chilli,
- Rice pudding,
- Skinned fruit and apples,http://supps.ldnmuscle.com/sports-nutrition/ldnm-oats
- LDNM Whey Protein,
- LDNM Instant Oats,
- LDNM Shaker
- LDNM Protein Flapjacks,
- LDNM Protein Bars,
Other bits: Water, to keep hydrated (especially if it’s going to be hot). Sun-tan lotion and a silly parasol hat or umbrella and wellies (weather dependent). Baby wipes and anti-bacterial hand gel for after you use those toilets, before eating and after you’ve taken that unsavoury boy/girl back to your tent!
When you’re there:
Try and get there early to get a good pitch, close enough to water, showers and stages but far enough away that you can sleep in in the morning/afternoon, without being woken up by all the bands people don’t really want to see (If you are going to Reading Festival, never camp in yellow zone if you want to sleep on Sunday night!).
Drink plenty of water. If it’s sunny, you’re drinking and dancing all day, you’ll get dehydrated. So make sure you’re taking on some water as well as booze.
Sleep in. If there is one time you can sleep in late, it’s at a festival! Don’t wake up tired and run yourself down, plus you’ll have more energy for the rest of the day.
Don’t do all day drinking. You don’t have to be drinking from the moment you wake up to have a good time at the festival- have a proper breakfast and give it time to digest, before starting drinking again.
High volumes of alcohol isn’t good for you at the best of times, but mixed with sugar and caffeine, you are unleashing hell on your body. Alcohol suppresses the body’s testosterone production and increases oestrogen production, caffeine reduces insulin sensitivity, as does large amounts of sugar– which also increases oestrogen production. So here’s a quick order of least to most damaging alcoholic beverages:
Spirits (neat) < wine & champagne < beers & ales < cider < Spirits (with sugar/caffeine mixer).
If you’re drinking, try to avoid eating too much calorie dense food. Alcohol is very high in calories– at 7Kcal gram-1, making it almost as energetically dense as fat (9Kcal gram-1). One unit of alcohol is equal to 10ml (approx. 8g due to density) of alcohol.
Therefore, 1 unit of alcohol contains 56Kcal.
This is before you even factor in the additional Kcal from sugars and other additives. So chances are, your body has enough energy, it’s just feels empty as you have been subsisting on a liquid diet. I’m not saying ‘don’t eat’ while drinking, but rather avoid eating a lot, especially junk food– chips, burgers and pies, since alcohol is already full of calories. Try and stick to leaner foods if you can get your hand on some.
Back to reality:
So it’s back to the grind. Get back into your routine and come back fired up, ready to train hard. It doesn’t have to be next day that you start training again- you are the best judge of your body and if you’re feeling tired, malnourished and on the end of a 2-day hangover, you’ll be better to focus on eating right and catching up on sleep rather than driving yourself and your immune system further into the ground.
There summarises a few tips from us- if you’ve got any questions just drop us a tweet.
Enjoy the weekend, the music and the British (or overseas) weather.