On Sunday, the 56th Super Bowl will take place in the United States, a synonym for social get-togethers and party food, and above all: increasingly popular with us in Germany as well, the only difference being that we arrive at work even more wiped out than the Yanks due to the time difference on Monday morning. The day after the Super Bowl is a day with a high absenteeism rate at work in the U.S., and we want to make sure that we are adequately prepared and return to work without deficits. Our sports and nutrition experts Professor Florian Pfab and Moana Kiss explain how we can enjoy a late-night Super Bowl party and still get into work reasonably fit.
"The key is moderation, and that's not synonymous with this particular superlative event," says Prof. Pfab, MD, a sports and nutrition physician.
The most common mistakes
The ways to damage our health during the Super Bowl are many. No question, number one on the list is alcohol, and here, of course, quantity matters. At worst, still on an empty stomach. The sure way to a hangover. By the way, most sick calls stem from excessive drinking.
The next big challenge: nutrition.
Super Bowl parties not only have a lot of food, but also a lot of unhealthy snacks that are high in sodium, fat and calories. "Typical Super Bowl cuisine isn't exactly geared toward health," says Moana Kiss, a fitness coach from Berlin, and continues, "The problem is that Super Bowl parties serve snacks that you don't normally eat, and in the worst cases, too much of them." Reflux, or heartburn, can be an unpleasant consequence, with stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus and causing an uncomfortable burning sensation.
Time also plays a role, as the Super Bowl lasts longer than most sporting events at around 4 hours, giving people more opportunity to "abuse" the body.
And if you top off your Super Bowl TV night with a post-party, you can overdose very quickly. In any case, there's simply no time to wind down and recover before it's time to go to bed and back to work shortly thereafter.
Our tips for a super Monday
Let's start with alcohol. Professor Pfab says the most important thing is to stay well hydrated. He recommends starting your party with a glass or two of water before you take your first sip of an alcoholic beverage. After that, drink some water every now and then. In principle, alcohol reduces the amount of deep sleep. For a good quality of sleep, Professor Pfab therefore recommends avoiding alcohol altogether after midnight. So maybe you should just drink non-alcoholic beer?
As for the food, we suggest offering a few alternative dishes to the bacon and cheese snacks, chips and burgers. Why not assign one or two of your guests to bring vegetable and fruit dishes? After all, a vegetable bowl is the perfect accompaniment to the Super Bowl!
If you want to dose your food cleverly, it's also better not to stand right next to the table with all the delicious food while you're watching the game or talking to other guests. Rather, take a small portion and sit down with it in peace and at a safe distance from the food source.
From our sports physician Professor Pfab also comes the idea of using certain actions during the broadcast for smaller workouts: Why don't you do 20 push-ups for every touchdown, 25 sit-ups for a foul, 1-minute planks for commercials, etc.? It's all in your hands 😉
Air out in between - fresh air invigorates the mind and body.
Also, with the advanced hour in mind, you should stop eating and drinking as the end of the game approaches. This will increase your chances of sleeping more soundly - because you won't have much sleep anyway. Even if sleeping in advance doesn't seem to help, it's still a good way to make up for previous sleep deficits before a night of TV.
And if all that sounds too sissy for the Super Bowl spectacle, just remember that athletes on the field eat balanced, nutritious meals every day. Because that's what enables them to perform and go the distance.
There are also things you can do on Monday to help you.
First, you should get rid of all the leftover food hardcore. If you don't, there's a big chance you'll snack on the unhealthy stuff.
Second, drink plenty of water on Monday. This will help you to re-hydrate.
And exercise that day. Just because you had a rough night doesn't mean you have to take it easy on your body. It will be able to handle a moderate workout.
6 Tips at a glance
- Start the TV night without sleep deficit. However: Sleeping in advance does not do much
- Drink enough water, because liquid gets the circulation going. Alcohol has many calories, deprives the body of water and reduces the quality of sleep.
- Use breaks for fresh air
- Incorporate stretching exercises - or more intensive ones, as described above. Sitting for four hours is simply not good.
- Fruits and vegetables should be included in the snack plan.Too much fatty food in the evening can cause heartburn and digestive problems.
- Get your body moving again with a light cardio workout on Monday, too.