Student-athletes have to juggle athletics and academics, and nutrition plays a huge role in both. Your body and brain must be ready to compete in the challenges you face on and off the court.
Here are a few tips we put together for you to keep you healthy, fueled up and ready to go!
1- Avoid empty calories. Just because you’re active and work out more than some of your friends, doesn’t mean you can eat an excess amount of junk food. Your body needs nutrients! Choose complex carbohydrates like fruits vegetables and whole grain.
2- Know your energy requirements. Visit http://web.mit.edu/athletics/sportsmedicine/wcrenergy.html to get the formula nee to calculate the amount of calories you need during athletic performances.
3- Get your “fats” straight. Avoid fried foods and foods made with lots of butter a.k.a. trans fats. Fats are good in moderation, so aim for the unsaturated fats like fish and nuts.
4- Take your vitamins. Be sure you’re getting the proper intake of calcium and iron. Calcium promotes strong bones and iron prevents tiredness.
5- Stay hydrated. Gatorade and Powerade are used replace electrolytes lost during excessive sweating. Sports drinks are necessary if your workout is longer than an hour. If not, stick to the good ol’ H2O.
6- Watch your pre-game meals. Eat 2 to 4 hours before the game or practice. The last thing you want are cramps when you’re on the court or field. Keep in mind that your body will need energy to digest the food. Avoid foods high in fats and proteins. If you need a snack an hour or so before the game, try crackers or low fiber fruits and vegetables. Also, skip the “pick me up” coffee you sometimes grab before the game. Caffeine causes dehydration and no athlete needs that!
Practice these nutrition tips every day. Game or no game. Your health matters more than any score or record!
Source: Mochi Mag.
Photo courtesy of Harvard Health Publications.