Don’t run through a stitch
The stabbing pain in the tummy, otherwise known as a stitch, means that a player has taken on too many carbohydrates before starting training. This normally means too much pasta, maybe an hour or so earlier, or after a big meal. What has happened is that there is a sudden rush of sugar, increasing the amount of insulin the liver has to cope with. The liver squeezes and this is where you feel the real pain – the stitch.
Action: you should not run through a stitch. The pain will mean that you are not able to maintain a proper body shape and might cause you to injure yourself in another way. It is simply a case of stopping and waiting for the pain to subside.
Loss of performance through loss of water
It only takes a loss of three per cent of water from the body to impair the performance of most normal soccer players. Rehydration, the replacement of lost water, needs to occur at regular intervals, normally every 15 to 20 minutes. Ideally you need to replace the same amount of water with each drink.
However this sort of rehydration does not represent the game situations where water intake is not as controlled. If possible it is better to train as you play and this goes for rehydration. The body adapts through training to the conditions set, therefore benefiting the soccer player when they play in the game.
Sleep repairs your muscles effectively
Most muscle repair occurs while you are asleep. This happens through something called deep orthodox sleep. Deep orthodox sleep lasts for 20 minutes on average and happens at most four or five times a night, but on average three times. You need five cycles to give the maximum muscle repair. A good night’s sleep is when you reach that five cycles, but for most that means two nights of sleeping well to get fully repaired muscles.