Two a days and football workouts are around the corner. Are you prepared?
Mentally embracing the grind is what allows you to bring your best day after day. But if you’re about to be working out two times a day, you need to make sure you’re stocked up for the grueling road ahead.
Aside from some simple habits that will help you keep your edge, we’re sharing how collagen plays a part in great nutrition for high school football players.
So, let’s get into it.
1. Get to bed earlier
Want to know how to get ahead of the competition during two a days football season? Start earlier.
Good days start with good nights.
Sleep is not for the weak. Sleep is the vital shutdown at the end of each day, but you’d be wrong if you thought your body was totally powered down when you’re dreaming. No sir.
While your eyes are closed and your mind is quiet, your brain can focus on other things. If there are areas to heal - and during two a days football there are always areas to heal - the brain can trigger the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth and repair blood vessels. This isn’t just for wounds, but also restoring sore or damaged muscles.
You may wake up stiff in the morning when you’re working out two times a day, but things would be a LOT worse if you never slept to begin with.
Your immune system is also getting on with fighting viruses, bacteria and whatever substances you somehow inhaled on the muddy training ground floor. No one needs an infection delaying your two a days football regime or making you miss trial days.
The exact amount of sleep you need for two a day workouts is individual, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re one of those people who can function regularly with just 4 hours a night.
Have you seen the eyes on those people?
Most experts recommend that student-aged teens get 8-9 hours of sleep. But if you want to wake up fresh thinking about those two a day workouts, the optimal number is 9-10 hours of sleep per night.
2. Hydrate, then hydrate again
With two a days and football season in general, dehydration simply isn’t an option.
Your body wants water all. the. time. If you’re waiting until you feel thirsty then you’ve waited too long, and you’re not functioning at 100%.
The list of things your body needs water for is long, but here are just a few:
- Temperature regulation throughout the body
- Nutrient and mineral transportation to cells
- Ligament lubrication for ease of movement
- Protection for body organs
- Moistens tissues in the eyes, nose, and mouth
Keep hydrated in the off-season, and also keep very well hydrated in two a days football season with water, fruit and vegetables with high water content, BCAAs, and electrolytes.
The age-old advice of 8 glasses of water looks to be more of a recommendation than a strict rule, but most athletes can safely drink up to a gallon of water per day. If you take into consideration your two a days football routine and all the sweating you’ll be doing under 20 pounds of equipment, you should easily be able to hit that number - and then some.
That being said, tanking up on too much water all in one go may leave you feeling water-logged. And that isn’t going to help you make good plays. Try to start drinking water when you wake up and sip your water bottle throughout the day.
3. Implement twice daily stretching and mobility exercises
Each time you don’t stretch properly before and after a workout you’re literally risking your entire season.
The human body, particularly athlete’s bodies, are phenomenal in how they can burst, change direction and power themselves. But you’ve got to keep it loose with regular stretching - especially during two a days football pre-season.
But we’re not just talking about before you start your two a days football workout, or even in the general football conditioning program. We’re talking about stretching throughout the day and on rest days too.
4. Use healing heat for workout recovery
Have you ever tried an Epsom bath or an infrared sauna treatment? When applied correctly, healing heat becomes a great asset to your two a days football routine, both mentally and physically.
Muscles and tendons feel sore after two a days football workout because individual muscle fibers have become damaged or compromised by the strong physical forces of your workout. While working out, your body was doing what it could to keep up replenishing what was being lost. Although your second workout is complete, the replenishing of muscle and ligament collagen proteins is still well underway. You’re being built back together stronger in order to withstand more challenging forces tomorrow.
Heat therapy has many benefits, one being that it aids this process by opening up blood vessels and removing lactic acid, the waste product of anaerobic respiration.
Sore muscles get targeted. Sprains get targeted. It all gets targeted.
And the benefits of an infrared sauna stem from the fact that your entire body is heated equally with different color lights. The lights have the ability to penetrate your muscles and tendons for a deeper healing effect.
Just 10 minutes on a low heat setting can help improve your recovery times after two a day workouts.
Check your own routine right now
Nice work. You’re getting in that rhythm of good sleep, good hydration, good stretching habits, and a self-care salt bath or infrared sauna when working out twice a day.
It’s going to make a world of a difference during the season. Two a days football is a marathon, after all, not a sprint.
The final piece is acing your nutrition. You have to know macros, caloric intake, protein, the best food to eat during a workout, supplements, and more. This is your fuel for those two a days - and all of football season.
5. Dial in a diet for long workouts
Let’s specifically address nutrition for football players during two a days football season.
For athletes, especially two a day workout athletes, a lot of the research on healthy eating and balanced diets is going to come up short. That’s not because the science is wrong - it works just fine for your non-athlete friends and family. Maybe even your friends that like to hit the gym a couple times a week.
But it doesn’t anticipate the level of dedication to the grind that you’re putting in.
Why should it? Two a day athletes never agreed to be considered normal.
You’re choosing to make yourself great.
But the fundamentals are all there, and the rapidly-evolving literature on exercise science and diet and football training is putting out good studies all the time. There’s a reason that the Patriots recruited a former army nutritionist and signed him to a full time deal to manage a football kitchen and cheffing staff.
So let’s talk about that…
Power it with quality protein
When we think of power, we think of protein.
Hear this: that same Patriots kitchen goes through 160lbs of seafood, 172lbs of beef and 475lbs of chicken every week.
You know that’s all quality sourced too.
That’s a whole lot of meat building up a legendary franchise. The Patriots aren’t to everyone’s taste, but no-one faults their discipline. So if you want to be part of the 1% of college football athletes to get picked up by the NFL, then you’ve got to be on their level from a diet standpoint. And it all starts during your first two a days football season.
Working out two times a day causes a lot of stress and trauma in your muscles and ligaments. Plus, many athletes want to use this time to build muscle. All that requires protein.
A good serving size is between 15 grams and 30 grams. But the specific amount needed per day is unique to you. The recommended advice from the American College of Sports Medicine says that 1.2 - 2.0 grams of protein are required per kilogram of bodyweight.
Our advice is to use that as your initial guideline during two a days football and work with your coach or a licensed nutritionist to find your exact numbers.
Understanding your macronutrient needs based on your body weight and calorie expenditure as a two a day football athlete is vital. So is understanding your protein absorption rate.
Don’t overlook protein supplements that you can take before and even during your workout, either. They are a great way to hit your protein requirements and may help prevent fatigue during long workouts.
Reasons to choose liquid collagen as your protein of choice
The question remains: what’s the best protein powder for young athletes doing two a days football?
The two top contenders for shelf space in sports nutrition shops right now are whey and collagen.
Both stand out because they’re naturally occurring proteins in our bodies, and their stockpile in our bodies is always in demand. Whey initially took on the bulky muscle mass position and collagen was sidelined to wellness due to its impressive skincare, haircare, and nail care benefits.
Skin, hair, and nails might matter for post-game winner’s interviews, but these are hardly primary concerns. After all, Trevor Lawrence would have gotten picked no.1 overall in the 2021 draft without his long locks.
But it would be a mistake to overlook the other collagen benefits for men.
Some studies reveal that collagen protein:
- May increase lean muscle mass
- May improve tensile strength in ligaments and tendons, decreasing injuries
- May increase muscle load resistance
- May decrease workout recovery time
- May decrease injury recovery time by up to half
Consider this: Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body, making up 10% of your muscle mass. And while your body naturally produces collagen, it doesn’t make enough to keep up with the demands of two a days football workouts.
Let’s take a closer look at two of the biggest collagen protein benefits for young athletes.
Collagen may provide two a day ligament protection
When you’re working out twice a day, you’re adding stress not just in your muscles but also in the smaller, tighter, ligaments and tendons too. These are the connection points between muscle and bone.
If the muscle and bone aren’t connected with a strong ligament, you’re going nowhere fast.
Imagine the mechanics of your burst off the line of scrimmage. Whether you’re running or blocking, all the force generated in your muscles has to transfer through the ligament to move the rest of the arms, legs and everything in between.
Are you looking for efficiency? Your tendons have to be well-supplied with the collagen you need to create that burst, create that separation, and beat your man.
We’re betting you hear it from your coach every time.
Stab, attack, rise up, release.
All these minute movements rely on your ligaments for their accuracy and burst. And your ligaments rely on collagen.
Collagen may guard against Injuries
And if all this information wasn’t enough to encourage you to choose collagen, then do it for your own protection.
In a high-risk sport where an injury can put you behind for a whole season, padding out your ligaments, your ACL, and your MCL is going to give you another layer of protection.
When you’re conditioning, knowing what you can do to prevent running injuries is going to come in clutch. Something as simple as drinking protein before workouts begin to give you the proteins you need to keep muscles and ligaments replenished during a grueling routine. Repeating the same thing after will ensure faster muscle recovery and may help prevent injuries for your workout in the morning.
When you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you.
Two a days football workouts meet hydrolyzed collagen
This final bit is important, so listen up.
Remember when we mentioned collagen protein absorption?
It’s absolutely critical that your body is actually receiving the protein you are consuming before, during, and after your two a days workouts. And the best way to ensure that is by opting for a hydrolyzed collagen protein supplement like Frog Fuel.
Collagen, prior to hydrolysis, is a big, gluey molecule that is difficult for your stomach to process. The hydrolysis process breaks that molecule size down into something that can be readily absorbed - and quickly put to use.
With Frog Fuel liquid collagen shots the time it takes to present in your bloodstream is a rapid 15 minutes.
We designed Frog Fuel liquid collagen protein shots to be a superior protein source for athletes just like you. Easy digestion means no upset stomach. Fast absorption means you’ll be on the field and ready to run in no time.
Need an extra boost during those two a days and football season?
Try our collagen protein with caffeine to power early mornings and your second workout of the day.