By: Grace Bruening – Health Columnist
The spring semester begins the countdown to many exciting events for students. Perhaps the most exciting occasion junior and senior Flyers are looking forward to is Dayton to Daytona. However, sometimes with all the excitement also comes anxiety. Everyone’s main focus is getting that “Daytona bod,” while being surrounded by temptations from March Madness game day pizza to nights out with your friends and one too many drinks. Don’t let the anxiety of staying fit in Daytona take away from the best vacation of your life with a few hundred of your closet friends. Use these simple, helpful hints during your trip to keep your mental and physical health strong on the pool deck.
PACK YOUR SNACKS
If you’re not prepared when the 2 p.m. hunger strikes on the pool deck, you’ll find yourself binge eating on whatever you can first get your hands on; and in Daytona, it’ll most likely be pizza. Keep a protein bar in your fanny pack along with a mini water bottle. Here is a list of easy essentials you’ll need during your trip that won’t take up too much space:
Protein/Energy bars- go for bars that are low in sugar (less than 10g) and high in protein (about 20g) to keep you fuller longer. I suggest Quest Protein Bars.
Almond butter/rice cakes- It’s an easy snack to prepare in between outdoor festivities.
Mixed nuts – Prepare separate baggies of this snack for when you only have time to grab a handful of nuts.
Carrots/hummus- Stick them in your fridge when you get to your hotel. You’ll need that fiber to get rid of the toxins from alcohol after a long day in the sun.
Dark Chocolate- I promise your sweet tooth with strike and this will do just the trick. Go for a cocoa percentage of less than 50 percent.
Apples/bananas- These easy-to-pack fruits will give you the energy you need to stay energized during the day and night.
Zero calorie Powerade- Alcohol depletes electrolytes by making demands on the body that force a greater need for them. When the next morning arrives after losing electrolytes in converting alcohol’s toxins and dispelling them in urine, feeling good again requires replenishment. Powerade has all of the electrolytes you’ll need to give you a pick-me-up the morning after.
STICK TO LIGHT BEER
A Budweiser has 30 more calories and six more carbohydrates than a Bud Light, with barely any more alcohol content. Stick to light beers to reduce the bloat and save the calories.
Reduce those headaches. Headaches come from an imbalance of fluid in the brain, which alcohol can cause. Drinking water throughout your day and night will restore the balance and leave you waking up with less of a headache. It’ll also increase your energy levels to keep you bumpin’ on the pool deck.
It would be a little unrealistic for you and me both if I sat here and told you to avoid the late night pizza, early morning pancakes and one too many Natty’s. Instead, we’re going to go with moderation. Practice mindfulness: Eat only when you’re hungry and ask yourself if you truly need that fourth piece of pizza before you reach for it. It takes practice, especially under the influence, but if you start practicing now you’ll be a pro by Daytona.
Don’t let the fear of gaining a few pounds get in the way of having the time of your life. D2D is a time to enjoy yourself, so do just that. See you all on the pool deck!
Photo courtesy of Dayton to Daytona Facebook page.