In light of the TWU Womens volleyball team recent rhabdomyolysis scare we thought you needed to know the top 5 things you can do to protect YOUR athlete.
But first, you may be wondering what rhabdomyolysis is. Basically its a condition you create from chronically over-training and under-hydrating. In other words, you push your body through high intensity workouts without any water breaks or recovery time in between. Skeletal muscle proteins start breaking down and spilling into urine. Untreated, the greatest danger of rhabdomyolysis is damage to the kidneys and ultimately dialysis.
As a parent of a high school athlete, rhabdomyolysis is probably not a huge concern during high school volleyball season as the governing body, UIL, highly regulates the amount of practicing allowed (unless you have an idiot coach who doesn’t allow water breaks). But, as we start moving into club season with club practices overlapping with school sports, and athletes who play multiple school sports (like track and basketball) on top of club volleyball we DEFINITELY start to see an increased risk of rhabdomyolysis.
So how do I know if my athlete has rhabdomyolysis?
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis include: severe chronic fatigue, muscle pain, and/or swelling (We know…that could be a number of other conditions or illnesses)…COMBINED WITH deep dark red or brown urine.
Parents! Take note if your athlete EVER tells you that their urine is red or brown. Start hydrating them and get them to a health care professional immediately!
So what can I do to prevent this condition?
Here are five things we recommend to keep from getting rhabdomyolysis:
1. Make sure your athlete stays hydrated!!
This sounds easy but truly your athletes need more than the average person (half their body weight in ounces for normal person and at least their weight in ounces if they are an athlete). This is one major reason professional and Olympic athletes rehydrate with IVs after extreme workouts and competitions!!
We’d also like to point out that sweet tea and sodas DO NOT COUNT AS WATER! These drinks actually increase inflammation, risk of injury and illness. Even worse, they actually dehydrate your athlete! Your athlete would have to drink 1-2 extra glasses of water to offset the sugar load in these beverages and majorly increase their Vitamin C intake to restore white blood cell health and ability to fight illness and injury as a result of consuming sugar. Also, avoid consuming alcohol (which we like to assume no athletes consume but you never know).
2. Give their water staying power
Help cells accept water and nutrients by adding electrolytes vitamins, minerals, and nitric oxide (a natural anti-infammatory) to their water about 20-30 minutes prior to every workout or game with a product like Kyani Nitro Extreme.
3. Consider squeezing fresh grapefruit juice into at least one glass of water per day
Doing this can also help with water absorption and cell hydration.
4. Schedule regular massages for your athlete.
Help repair those tired worn out muscles and flush inflammation back through the lymph system and out of their bodies.
5. Rest rest rest!!!
Yes we really mean those three exclamation points. We know it’s hard to do with busy schedules but it is absolutely critical to get in 7-8 hours each night, as well as making sure your athlete has at least one day off completely from workouts.
The health of your athlete is a team effort! If you have questions or need help with the nutrition status or your athlete we do have a professional nutritionist available to assist! Contact us for more information.