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Sour Candy & Anxiety

Could eating sour candy relieve pre-race anxiety? Yes. This works short term by distracting the brain with the intense taste. Thus taking the mind off the fear or anxiety at hand. According to Toya Roberson-Moore, MD, associate medical director and psychiatrist at Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, “Panic ensues when our amygdala triggers the flight or fight response. Sour candy shifts our attention quickly to the sense of taste, intensely, which in turn dampens our amygdala (the feeling part of the brain) and gives us better access to our frontal cerebral cortex (the thinking part of our brain).”

If you don't like sweets, then something very spicy like sriracha or tangy like salt and vinegar chips will also have the same effect.

Pre-race anxiety- most likely brought on by a fear of failure- and is a normal part of competition. Here are a few tips for avoiding mental sabotage.

Visualization or mental imagery, is a training tool that improves the quality of athletic movement, increases the power of concentration, and serves to reduce the pressures of competition on the athlete while building confidence.

Studies have shown a powerful relationship between mental and physical performance in sports. Visualization has been shown to develop better focus and concentration in athletes, help athletes react more instinctively, and help overcome pre-race anxiety.

Before You Step Up On The Block Try Visualizing Your Swim.

How to get started?

  • Grab a pillow, yoga mat, or a towel and find someplace quiet to lay down.

  • Close your eyes and breathe in deeply.

  • As you breathe, imagine yourself preparing for your next meet.

  • Then visualize your event.

  • Visualize your start, your swim & finishing strong.

  • Focus on the details.

  • Open your eyes.

  • Take a couple deep breaths and sit up.

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