I judge a lot of Magic the Gathering tournaments, and I mean a lot. As a result I get to observe people. One of the things I notice is players and judges ignore their bodies, especially when it comes to hydration. It is important for you and for the players around you that you take care of yourself. Yeah right, why should I care. Well, there are only a handful of reasons, but they can be summed up like this; good health makes for a better game. It is really that simple. Dehydration can have some serious effects on your game, and your body. While not eating foods that supply nourishment can effect you body in many ways (anything from headaches to poor digestion). the rest of this article will talk about recognizing the symptoms of things like dehydration and lack of nourishment.
Dehydration happens when you don’t consume enough liquid (water is the best). Symptoms of dehydration are
- head rushes
- loss of appetite
While I realize at a tournament there are a lot of other factors that can come into play dehydration is always a first in my mind because it is easy to ignore. So here are some rules of thumb to prevent dehydration. if your game is a light game that does not involve a lot of standing or though consume a cup of water for every hour. If it is more intense consume closer to twenty ounces of water every hour. That might sound like too much, but it’s not. When you game you actually do burn a lot of energy thinking.
Eating improperly can cause all kinds of problems for you. In fact, there are so many I won’t even attempt to cover them. We should all know the common symptoms of not eating right (headaches, fatigue, light headed,). Instead I will share what I have had great success with at events of this nature.
- Protein shakes
- protein bars
- granola bars
- trail mix
- mixed fruit
- Have even taken various canned goods
You might say that is a bit much, but the one thing I have learned as a judge is you just never know what is in store for you. I have worked events where where the closest food was a twenty minute walk, and if you are understaffed it just doesn’t work. It is about the same for you as a player. It is better to be prepared. I also go heavy on the grains to combat the potential irratablity from various digestive problems, besides they are a good snack.
If you are wondering why this article is here. This is why. Not too long ago I worked an event where a player did not eat foo. His reasoning was it was too far away to get to it. He was also alone, and had no one to go get the food for him. As a result of not eating, he got a headache. He made this publicly known, and that he believed it was from a lack of food. The player eventually blacked out from fatigue and ended up not finishing the event. I realize that the example above is extreme, but who wants to play with a headache or worse. It really doesn’t take much effort to plan for this, and in the end you will be happier.