In this post we are going to be discussing the importance of nutrition and diet for college athletes and what we do to ensure we are fueled for our best performance!
So as we discussed in our last post, being a college athlete means you constantly have a busy schedule. Cooking a healthy meal is the last thing on our minds after a busy day or hard practice. But maintaining a healthy diet is necessary for all college athletes to be successful and is something we always have to be aware of. Many college athletes aren’t properly educated on what to eat and when to eat it.
Water also plays a huge role in being a healthy college athlete. While this seems obvious, many athletes are not drinking enough water to keep their bodies’ fully hydrated during practices and games.
As a dancer (Kelsey), I have always had to be aware of watching what I ate and maintaining a healthy diet. My coaches have sat us down on multiple occasions and informed us of the importance of nutrition and has brought in nutritionists to give us ideas and the proper information on eating to benefit our bodies. Figuring out what to eat and when to eat it depends on the day. We have met one on one with our trainer and he discussed the necessary steps each of us needs to take to maintain a healthy, fit body that will get us through everything from games to the rigorous competition season.
On a typical day, I make sure I limit my intake of unnecessary sugars and fats. For breakfast I typically have egg whites and a piece of toast (and coffee of course!). For lunch I try to switch it up and will have anything from yogurt with granola and fruit to a salad or a smoothie. For dinner I will have some grilled chicken, rice, and vegetables.
Game days or competition days are a little different and we all need to load up on carbs and protein to make sure we have enough energy for the day.
As a Lacrosse player (Alexa), Nutrition plays a HUGE role in my life. Not enough fuel or not the right kind of fuel can really alter my performance. For example, when we have practice and conditioning early in the morning it is very crucial that I eat something even though my body doesn’t feel hungry. Food fuels our body and without fuel you simply can not perform to your fullest potential.
Here is a list of my favorite meals
- Vegetarian stuffed peppers
- spaghetti squash Lasagna
- Fish tacos
- Watermelon Salad
- Shrimp and quinoa bowl
Click here and read the top 10 nutrition facts that everyone agrees about!
On a typical day, I wake up and have a bowl of Oatmeal and frozen blueberries. After my conditioning and lift, before practice I eat a Lara Bar (Currently can not get enough of the pecan pie flavor!). After practice I go straight to class so I do not have much time to eat. I usually pack a bag of carrots or an apple. Something easy to grab and eat on the go. Once I finish class I go home and make myself a balanced lunch and dinner! I love seafood and meats, so I tend to go for salmon, shrimp, or steak (If my bank account permits 🙂 ) but if I am on a budget or more of a vegetarian kick, I love making Stuffed Peppers and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna. Currently my two favorite dishes to make at the time! (You could say I’m slightly obsessed!)
As a college athlete, it is difficult to prepare a solid healthy meal because we are always in a rush. What I have been taught to do is prepare the meals ahead of time so when I wake up all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and head to practice. Although it can be frustrating to make all at one time, it pays off when you don’t have time and need to grab something quickly.
This past summer I followed a nutrition plan. It was more so focused on fixing your metabolism and lifestyle change than your actual diet. I found that is was very helpful and gave me insight on new ways to eat. It is very important to stay in tune with ingredients you are feeding your body. As most of you have heard, “you are what you eat!”
Eat well, feel well, perform well.