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Food For Thought, An Airsofter's Guide

Posted 03-06-2010 at 02:30 PM by gertrude
I have some maternal instinct in me. Itís why I shudder to think of a bunch of young guys going out early Ėearly- in the morning, with nothing on their stomachs, after less than two hours of sleep, running in the woods shooting at each other. I donít have any issues with most of those thingsÖ just the empty stomach part. So, for those of you who are perhaps new to airsoft, or maybe donít do what you should, here are some things you can do to make sure that you donít run out of gas in the middle of the day.
  1. Eat Breakfast
  2. Bring Food with You On The Field
  3. Eat Something Healthier Than Chips And A Burger
  4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
  5. Donít Overeat

Here's some details and why you should do these things:

Eating Breakfast and Bringing Food With You On The Field
Really, these should be simple. Your body needs food. It's the gasoline that makes you go. You're probably familiar with the concept. Eating breakfast can help get the energy into your body before you're already failing, and helps wake you up in the morning. Having an apple gives you the wakefulness of about one cup of coffee (don't ask me where I heard that), and if you want to be sharp for the day of the event, you probably want to be awake first.

Having had a bite to eat for breakfast, you probably want to bring something on the field just in case. You know you have 18 pouches on that brand new plate carrier you just got, so c'mon, boy, stuff one of them full of some food. You might need it, or in an emergency, someone else might, too. (You never know if there's a diabetic on the field somewhere.)

If you want to tell me, "But Gerty, I play airsoft to work out, and if I eat breakfast and have food on my stomach I won't be able to lose weight!" Well, you actually need to get your metabolism started in the morning. Or something. Look, I'm not a dietitian or a biologist or anything, but every trainer I've ever talked to has told me that I need to eat before I work out. When I haven't eaten, I've blacked out. So. You know, just do it. It's good for you. And I worry and your mother worries. So, just, you know, do it.

Eat Something Healthier Than Chips And A Burger
Honestly, you should be doing this anyway. But, a couple days before the game you should make sure you get all the nutrients you need. You can do this by substituting a power bar of some kind for a meal or snack, or some other kind of vitamin-rich substance. Eating fruits and veggies, I believe, is the best way to go about it, but let's be honest: No One Eats Fruits And Veggies At Airsoft Games.

A way to subtly do this is to make granola bars or bring some kind of fruit rollups or fruit leather or something with you. If you can keep a cooler, try to bring a gallon of fruit smoothies or something. Or some wheatgrass-protien-soy-chai-latte. Just. Something better than bread and meat. Those are good and they'll give you energy, but you need more than that, honestly.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Oh, man. This is an airsofter's best friend. Drink. You are using more water than you think. Even if it's freezing. You are sweating. You are running. You are walking up and down hills, you are hunting your prey. You are using a lot of energy.

While it's easy to piss on a tree, there's no ready way to replace that water on an airsoft field. You should always have a hydration carrier, water bottle, something with you with water. Don't rely on your battle buddy; you may get separated.

Gatorade and other flavored drinks are great, but they tend to mess up your hydration carrier or water bottle. (It has something to do with the sugar.) So, water. Lots of water. Bring a gallon with you to the game to fill your bottle/carrier up.

Don't Overeat
No one likes to waddle around at an airsoft game and feel all full. Don't pig out after a game, either, because it might make you sick. Consistency is key.

I'm thinking of maybe making a blog of things you can cook beforehand and bring to games... is anyone interested in an airsofter's cookbook? Yes/No?

If you have any tips also, feel free to post them here, as I'd like to make this a "guide" to airsoft and food.
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  1. Old
    wahugg's Avatar
    Hey great blog. I always have found that eating some kinda pasta for dinner the day before to help me. Also i want to put in there that if you drink pop as your "drink" you are actually losing water because the ingrediants push water out. In scouts the general rule is that every bottle of pop that you drink you need to drink two bottles of water. Hope this helps add a bit more info to you great guide. - wallace

    p.s High speed, Low drag cook book would be awsome!
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 03:03 PM by wahugg wahugg is offline
    Updated 03-06-2010 at 04:14 PM by wahugg
  2. Old
    Rebel's Avatar
    I vote for the cookbook!
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 03:16 PM by Rebel Rebel is offline
  3. Old
    RedL|ne's Avatar
    I like food, my vote is for a cookbook
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 04:58 PM by RedL|ne RedL|ne is offline
  4. Old
    gertrude's Avatar
    I want to let you know that the reason I'm posting this, btw, is that I'm remembering Irene IV when I had a cold, went anyway, didn't eat the first half of the day, and couldn't really play all afternoon and evening because my blood sugar was all effed up. I ended up sleeping in the car all afternoon... and no one wants to pay a bunch of $$$ to sleep in a car all afternoon.
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 05:55 PM by gertrude gertrude is offline
  5. Old
    Kawaii's Avatar
    I vote you publish a cookbook and sell it at games for $19.99 plus tax.
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 08:32 PM by Kawaii Kawaii is offline
  6. Old
    wahugg's Avatar
    @ Gertrude. I know what you mean when your sugar levels go to heck. Lucky for you that you got to sleep it off. Guess who made the trip to the Hospital, Me! But I really want stress that you must drink water not soda. We have had kids at summer camp that would drink about 4 bottles of pop a day and still pass out from dehydration simply because pop does nothing but hype you up from caffeine, force out water, and make you have gas. Not only does passing out hurt your body but it is pretty embarrassing to pass out in front of all your friends, or worse all by yourself in the middle of the woods.
    Posted 03-06-2010 at 09:22 PM by wahugg wahugg is offline
  7. Old
    I would love the idea of a cookbook (I am trying to become a chef in the future). I am just not sure what I would bring that would be good after one or two hours in a warm pocket, because fruits and vegies don't taste very good warm.
    Posted 03-07-2010 at 08:59 AM by revoltofthestrong revoltofthestrong is offline
  8. Old
    Firefox's Avatar
    @revoltofthestrong: If you are looking to keep food chilled while at a game what has worked for me is to take a lunch cooler and fill it with ice about half way, then put water bottles on one side and then put your food that you want chilled under the ice. This has worked really well for me and even on hot summer days by lunch the ice hasn't melted and everything inside stays chilled.

    on the topic of hydration make sure that you bring some fluid like gatorade or smart waters that have electrolytes in them. Your body naturally losses electrolytes when you sweat and you need to replenish them. However don't fill your hydration bladder with gatorade lol. the only thing that I would ever put in my bladder would be water, nothing else.
    Posted 03-07-2010 at 09:43 AM by Firefox Firefox is offline
  9. Old
    Son of Liberty's Avatar
    My guide to airsoft:

    Rule 1: don't be an idiot
    Rule 2: use common sense

    Granted most 13 year old kids will stay up til 4 in the morning watching Blackhawk Down over and over eating nothing but skittles and full throttle. Then skip breakfast cuz they're so excited. But in most cases you can't stop or prevent stupidity, even with knowledge. The best thing to do is not to be stupid yourself. You can say do this do that. But you'll never fix stupid. New kids will still not hydrate, be stupid and eat delicious chips and burger. Why, because it's tasty and available.
    Posted 03-07-2010 at 03:39 PM by Son of Liberty Son of Liberty is offline
    Updated 03-07-2010 at 03:41 PM by Son of Liberty
  10. Old
    mac50's Avatar
    Well you don't have yto keep stuff in your pocket. You prolly havea bunch of pouches on your rig. Stuff some food in there. While I agree fruits & veggies are best left in a cooler, Slim Jims and jerky would work. Of course there always Trail Mix. If it's good enough for LRRP's to live on for a couple of days, you shouldn't have a problem for an afternoon. Nuts are also good.
    Although Gatorade and sports drinks contain electrolytes, water will work just as wel and is far cheaper. Besides, being a diabetic sports, drinks are a big no-no for me.
    Posted 03-07-2010 at 05:14 PM by mac50 mac50 is offline
  11. Old
    Twin1's Avatar
    If all you can do on the day of the event is stop for said chips and burger, then make sure you eat well the day before. I remember when I had a Cross Country invitational on Saturday. And what did I eat Friday night?


    Did not go well. All together, eat well the day before and the day of the event, and have tons-o-water.
    Posted 03-09-2010 at 06:31 PM by Twin1 Twin1 is offline
  12. Old
    Teddy Bear's Avatar
    There is nothing better then a few greasy Burgers from Mcdonalds or Burgerking with a M&M Mcflurry after a day of airsoft, and nothing starts it off better then a Sausage Egg and Cheese Bagel split between two best freinds. .... and hashbrowns. (WARNING: Will result in a great freindship but shortness of breath as you walk up a flight of stairs and Heart palputaions running to the front Pourch) just keep that in mind is all.

    Me before an airsoft match
    Posted 03-09-2010 at 09:15 PM by Teddy Bear Teddy Bear is offline
    Updated 03-09-2010 at 09:26 PM by Teddy Bear
  13. Old
    I think I can do everything but the second one
    Posted 03-10-2010 at 09:51 PM by Rain Rain is offline
  14. Old
    Arcane's Avatar
    Here's what I do for hydration, and it works wonders for me: one part orange or lemon lime powerade, two parts water (it's even easy to do the math with a 3 liter camelback, and one liter powerade bottles) then drop one or two of these babies in, match the flavor to your 'ade: The mix provides you with electrolytes, vitamins, stims and all that jazz, while being mostly water, and easier/tastier to drink than regular water. Great stuff IMO.
    Posted 03-12-2010 at 10:28 AM by Arcane Arcane is offline
  15. Old
    gertrude's Avatar
    I think the general consensus is that on the field and on your person you should bring some kind of snack-something: nuts, power bar, trail mix, something.

    You should also have water. However, I think generally it's been said that if you want some kind of energy/electrolyte drink, you should just keep it at the field and put it in your car or the cooler. Hydration carriers with tubes/pouch can get really icky with any kind of sugar (which is what powerade is). I've been told that it ruins them, basically.

    As far as a cookbook goes, we'd probably just have recipes that are in a few categories: snacks you can take with you on the field, meals/etc you can bring hot to the game, and things you can keep in a cooler for a day. So, if you imagine the cookbook, it's sort of going to be a camping/picnicking/potluck kind of deal with a heavy emphasis on simplicity and easy of eating at games. (Really, who's going to be able to make and serve paella at an airsoft game? Not that many people.)
    Posted 03-12-2010 at 08:47 PM by gertrude gertrude is offline

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