For athletes to fuel themselves for the long seasons ahead of them, they need to intake the necessary nutrients. Food is essential for all students, and especially for student-athletes, but how important is it? How should student-athletes go about this?
Professor Alec Webster, a Kinesiology professor at Pacific University and HPER coordinator, describes what student-athletes should take into account when trying to figure out what is needed for a healthy diet. That diet should also provide the necessary nutrients throughout a student’s busy schedule. Webster references how his nutrition class goes about figuring out what works for each person.
“In nutrition class, we do a diet analysis where you log your food intake for a while and see how it lies with the system recommendations,” Webster described. “[It] will give you an idea of which macronutrients you need to get more of and which micronutrients you need to get more of about what activity you are doing.”
Noah Lewis, the senior guard for Pacific Men’s Basketball team, describes the struggles of being a student-athlete in terms of organizing a set schedule to go about everyday necessities, specifically eating.
“I try to consume 3 meals a day that includes protein, carbs, fruits or vegetables plus snacks throughout the day, but finding the time to eat during a busy school schedule is the hardest part of being a student-athlete,” Lewis said. “Sometimes you just have to eat whenever you get the slightest opportunity.”
Brandon Silowka, a 2021 graduate of Pacific University and former catcher for the Pacific Baseball team, explains how food is like gas to a car. How we treat our bodies will not only determine peak performance during the season but how our bodies will hold up in the long run.
“Good nutrition fuels recovery efforts after we break down muscles lifting and playing sports, meaning that suboptimal nutrition will lead to suboptimal recovery,” Silowka said. “If you don’t have the proper nutrition to recover, build, and fuel muscle, you’re wasting all the time you spend in the gym or the field.”
As the year goes on, student-athletes should try to plan their daily intake of essential nutrients by maintaining a properly balanced diet that supports not only their athletic needs but their academic needs as well. — Todd Takeuchi