These games can be pretty intense, and I tend to play a lot (get double shifted a lot) but I am in good shape and don't really ever get desperately out of breath, so I don't *think* it's the intensity of the exercise that is the problem. Of course, I don't know for sure, if I did I wouldn't be typing this:)
And, for the record, I am 19, so I'm not a middle-aged weekend warrior pushing her luck with intense exercise.
Can anyone offer any ideas what could be happening?
Generally speaking it sounds like you are suffering from a blood sugar drop. You don't have to be diabetic to suffer.
You need to make sure you are eating enough before and after practice/games
You need to make sure you are eating slow release carbohydrates -- not things like OJ
You need to stay hydrated -- Gatorade, Powerade, Propel, etc -- water is probably not enough
You may consider being tested for diabetes, but it is probably dietary more so than medical -- you sound like several of my swimmers who won't eat/drink before practices.
The only thing is, isn't sugar supposed to be bad if you have blood sugar issues? Ha now I'm really confused.
Do you have diabetes? If not then you don't have blood sugar issues, just a temporary drop in blood sugars -- everyone has blood sugar.
you shouldn't be eating sugar -- eat complex carbohydrates, things with slow release of carbs (whole grains, peanut butter, etc.) fruit juices are bad, even apples and oranges can be iffy as the sugar (carbs) are released so quickly that extensive exercise can easily trigger a drop.
Gatorade on the bench will almost definitely help. If your workout/exercise/game is extended, I really recommend a bagel with some peanut butter or something similar, also. Not the whole thing at once, but eaten throughout the 2 hours
But I usually have oatmeal with nut butter or a whole wheat sandwich before a game, and usually some milk to go with it. This is about 1 hour before so if blood sugar is dropping should it drop that fast? (sorry but I am completely clueless in this area).
So I guess I'm on my own for this. I googled hypoglycemia and found that it is low blood sugar and the symptoms seem to be somewhat similar to my own, but I found no sign that it is genetic so I don't know why I should have it, I am young and healthy. Especially since I have been playing for years and these symptoms are new. How strange...
I was in the army, 22, three work-outs a day, and hypoglycemic. As a female, my body fat percentage was less than 20%. Hypoglycemic is not a bad thing. You don't need medication to control it. It just means you need to adjust the types of food that you eat. Remember to keep the calories constant throughout the day. Add higher fiber foods, whole grains, and protein to keep the glycemic index up. Foods with added sugar, fructose, high fructose, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup and other high sugars will cause you to crash quickly during your workouts. Low blood sugar does stay with you for a few hours until you get a good solid meal. Like the others have said, read up on the glycemic index foods and stick to low ones. Also, mixing the natural nut butters, whole grains, and proteins will help. I even used some of the fruit and nut granola bars to keep me going.
Also, the best way to address this with your doctor is immediately after a hockey practice if possible. You want your doctor to run blood tests while you are experiencing the symptoms. I went undiagnosed until I passed out after physical training one morning. My blood sugar was extremely low and they found the problem. Until then, it was suspected other issues. Good luck, and try regulating what you eat. I know it's hard when working out, so just try taking a bite once in awhile to keep you going. Let us know how it works for you.
LAter in the period, skating for an icing, I tripped myself up and hit the boards headfirst, which is not something I would normally do. Now I have a headache and a shaky feeling but I'm thinking the headache is a result of hitting my head so hard.
Anyway, although that little experiment didn't go so well, I did learn something. The sugar definitly had an effect on the shakiness so it is likely related to blood sugar. The question is, where to go from here?
I recommend having a breakfast of eggs with whole wheat toast, fruits or veggies and a glass of milk before your next match. The eggs will give you protein. I've found that having protein for breakfast really, really helps. For some reason, oatmeal gives me the mid-morning sugar shakes (no matter how much oat bran and if it is no-sugar added). Also, take some nuts with you to the game, and eat those right before the game starts.
If you have a headache, I just read an article in my runner's world magazine that says this is a sign your fuel tank is running on empty. In other words, you simply may not be eating enough! Increase your calories and see if that helps.
Alright, this is a topic I can complete relate to, as I'm a regular hockey player as well. :)
It sounds to me like your energy level is dropping during your games/practices, which probably means you didn't eat enough prior to playing and/or you're dehydrated. Try to do what I do on days when I play:
-Eat a medium serving of whole wheat pasta; emphasis on "whole wheat" because it's a complex carbs as opposed to white pasta.
-Drink plenty of water leading up to playing time.
-Drink water and/or Gatorade constantly DURING playing time. You can buy a can of Gatorade powder mix for $4 to make your own and save tons of money.
-Eat something afterwards to replenish your body of carbs and protein.
I follow this routine every time now and I find that my energy level is always high, and my body doesn't feel "broken down" afterwards.
Let me know how it goes. Cheers.