Wake-up call: Cup fans must exercise at night

Wake-up call: Cup fans must exercise at night

Try light exercises like jumping jacks, push-ups and burpees half an hour before the match so you can stay awake for it and speak intelligently about it tomorrow.

"Exercise stimulates not only the body but also brain activity to keep one awake longer," said Dr Koh Hau Tek, medical director of Parkway Shenton.

Added Tan Tock Seng Hospital's exercise physiologist Ray Loh: "Light exercises will do. You should not be doing too much high-intensity exercises late at night - running till you pant, for example.

"Not sleeping already puts your body under stress. So, it is not advisable to push your body too hard - you need time to recover but you will be resting less during the World Cup season."

And, if you need a dose of caffeine, try black tea, not coffee.

Said Dr Koh: "The caffeine content is lower, so it keeps you awake for the match but not so much that you cannot fall asleep after that."

When it comes to munchies, instead of reaching for that packet of chips, why not try dark chocolate, citrus food or nuts?

"At least you don't get a rude shock when you hop on the scales when the World Cup season is over," said Dr Kelvin Chew, senior consultant at the Changi Sports Medicine Centre.

These foods are also rich in B-complex vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids that boost metabolism, said Loh. As for hangovers, drink lots of warm water.

"You get headaches because you are dehydrated from alcohol," said general practitioner Elias Tam.

"So, grab a bottle of water, drink it and ride it out.

"But, of course, prevention is better than cure."

In offices across the island, football nuts are trying to pay back sleep debts with naps during the day.

"I try to power nap at least 45 minutes every day when I get a break at work," said chef Airee Aziz, 30, who has watched almost every World Cup match played in Brazil.

"It's not as good as usual sleep but I feel much more energised."

This World Cup season, he is drinking one cup of coffee a day, plus two Red Bulls sometimes.

But too much caffeine could lead to heart palpitations, dehydration and anxiety, say doctors.

"A safe level is a maximum of three cups a day," said Loh.

Freelance writer Prabhu Silvam, 24, avoids snacks during the games, which start at midnight, and limits himself to three beers.

"It's much healthier this way. If you are too drunk, you won't be able to enjoy the beautiful game."

This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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