W A L L E Y E   H U N T E R
Fishing Articles by Mike Peluso
Water, The Ultimate Secret
By Mike Peluso
It's the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals. The game is heading into its second overtime. Guys are drained, and trying to do everything in their power to muster up enough energy to head back out on the ice. This is definitely not the time you want to get dehydrated! Guys are drinking water like they haven't had a drink in months, even mixing both water and power-aide to get as many electrolytes as they can get. The Washington Capitals do this, but the Detroit Red Wings do not! Washington wins in overtime, and the goal was scored by me. I know this may only be a dream at the moment, but if there is one thing I feel I do really well - it's that I keep myself well hydrated.
In my freshman year of college, I had a coach by the name of Mike Sertich. He use to drill it into our heads that drinking over a hundred ounces of water daily was important. At the time, it seemed to be an awful task - one that had me running to the bathroom every five minutes. I soon realized how important this would actually become. It didn't take long to figure out that this water was really helping me both on and off the ice. I felt extremely good while playing, and even better when I was not. As I watched guys who were not practicing good rehydration, I could see the fatigue they felt, and noticed I was not feeling the same. This, to me, was a big jump on the competition!
In school I majored in Health Education. I took many different courses that dealt with the issues of dehydration and its common causes. I paid close attention because I figured not only could it help me on the ice, but it could help me on the water. To this day, I feel proper hydration is my secret weapon when it comes to anything I do. I can tell you all about its importance, how it makes you feel, but the real challenge is committing yourself to drinking enough water and other fluids daily. Believe me, this is no picnic getting used to! When I first started, I couldn't get use to the fact that I had to go the bathroom so much! After time I adjusted to it, and now it just seems to be a natural part of the day. This also took me some time to get use to it in the boat. I have adjusted well, and it is not a problem for me anymore.
Coffee has always been my choice of drink for those early mornings. Like most outdoors people, I love that morning coffee! I even have a cup before I play a hockey game. It's a great stimulant that raises the heart rate, and helps you feel quite alert. But look out for problems to happen if this is all we drink. Caffeine actually dehydrates your body. When your body becomes dehydrated it wants to slow down, and becomes even more tired than it was before that fourth cup of Java. While it's OK to have coffee, it's probably not a great idea to drink a lot of it while playing hockey or out fishing. I have turned some people in the walleye world on to this, and they tell me all the time that it has helped them fish longer, and feel better!
When I take to the field, or the water, I always pack bottled water. I also use an old milk jug for ice and water. I fill the jug half full and freeze it. Then I place it in the cooler, and it keeps my food and other drinks cold. It can also be drank after melting. My cooler always consists of over a hundred ounces of water, and a couple of power-aides to keep my electrolytes up. I never drink alcohol while fishing. Not only is this hazardous to your health, but everyone around you is affected. I do have a can of Coke or two. It's always nice to have a little variety, and a little caffeine during the day won't kill you. Studies are coming out that say if you can balance both water and caffeine, it can actually help improve your energy levels.
Some of things I have discovered while staying hydrated out fishing and
playing hockey have helped me get to where I am at today. I am able to stay
on the water longer during those hot sunny days. Even when I get back in my
truck to drive home, I feel 100 percent better. The sun just doesn't seem to
get the best of me anymore. I am not sure what affect this has, but it seems
to keep me from really getting burned up. Last but not least, I feel like I
am able to do other things after I have been on the water all day. I can
remember many days after coming home, where I could hardly stay awake to put
the boat in the garage. No doubt, this has given me a big advantage over
everybody else! I have been doing it for a long time now, and it has become
second nature to me. Try it, you'll be amazed! If you are wondering how you
can tell when you're hydrated...check your urine. If the urine is yellow,
keep drinking water until it's clear. A shot on goal is never a bad play!
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Since August 1, 1998