I put this question out to other Ultimate players, or anyone else who may have insight…
Have you ever had a chronic migraine problem when trying to exercise?
I never had a problem with migraines when I was playing in New York, but a couple months after moving to Florida they started.
My first thought was, what’s changed? I’m playing in a hotter environment, of course. I’ll admit the first few months I was consuming more sugar (thanks to all the free candy at Zimmerman), and for awhile I may have had a bit of a caffeine problem as well. After the migraines started, I majorly adjusted my diet. I stopped eating candy on days when I was going to play, and cut the rest of my sugar way down. I stopped drinking soda almost entirely. And I pound water all day before practice.
It doesn’t seem to matter how much sleep I get, how healthy I eat, or how much water I drink before practice, though. Without fail, by the end of the warm-up lap I have a sharp pulsing behind my eyes. By the end of the first drill my stomach feels about the same as it did that time I got salmonella from eating raw cookie dough. And by the time pick-up starts I have a full blown migraine, complete with pretty little black spots dancing over my vision.
I hate being that player who leaves early for some lame excuse or is always complaining about an injury, but honestly, that’s what I feel like I’m turning in to. Normally I blame it on my ankle or knee. One or the other is usually sore by the end of the night, but it’s nothing I haven’t been playing through for years.
Most of the time I’m actually stopping because my head has taken all fun out of the game. Throbbing and stabbing head pains aside, I can feel the delay in my responses. I’m always trailing on defense, I turn slower on my cuts, I don’t adjust as well to following the disc. Everything takes just a little longer to respond to.
I’m not really sure what I’m missing though. I don’t have this problem at tournaments, or duing afternoon practices. The only other time it’s happened was at Nocturnal Decisions (an all night tournament in NY). It probably has something to do with trying to play after I’ve been up for X hours already, but the root of the problem has got to be in some sort of dietary deficieny. I just don’t know what it is!