Let’s get this bread: an athletic appetite
Being a student athlete is a huge commitment, not only with the time spent in practices and games, but also in maintaining a healthy lifestyle to succeed in one’s sport. Many athletes have to go the extra mile to make a larger impact on the playing field, besides their commitment and effort. They must go beyond simply meeting the standards for proper diet by fueling their bodies well to perform their best on the field, court, pool, etc., and there is a variety of meals that athletes can eat to not get beat.
Breakfast, the first meal of the day, is regarded as the most important meal as it is the first intake of food after a night of sleep and allows one to maintain healthy metabolic and glucose levels. Some suggestions for a proper breakfast for athletes include eating egg whites, as they are a great source of lean protein. Egg whites can be a healthy alternative for other breakfasts, such as a topping on toast, alongside sausages, or eaten alone. In addition, athletes may consider eating oatmeal, as it is a filling option for those who are in a rush and have less time to eat. Oatmeal is a great source of carbohydrates and fibers and can be eaten with fruit to improve taste.
“I like to stick to avocado toast topped with scrambled egg whites since you get just the right amount of protein from the eggs and it is not heavy in carbs allowing you to digest before the game,” sophomore Lauren Arnold said.
Though many high school athletes probably haven’t enjoyed one of these since elementary school, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a surprisingly healthy choice for a student athlete. Peanut butter provides a plethora of nutrients, including protein, Vitamin B, iron, magnesium and zinc—all critical for good performance during a game. In addition, despite its small size, avocado toast is also a strong option that contains carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins—three must-haves for athletes. This trendy meal will keep an athlete going all day, every day.
“I like to eat a salad because its a light meal that won’t make you feel too heavy before your game but it also has enough nutrients and proteins to give you energy and fills you up,” sophomore Soleil Cotton said.
Just like it’s important to begin your day with the right nutrients, ending the day strong is also crucial for an athlete’s growth and development, especially after practice or a game. After expending a lot of energy during physical activity, it is important for an athlete to replenish his or her body with the energy they lost. Protein-filled foods like grilled chicken and spinach fuel the body as well as build muscle tissue to keep athletes going strong. Athletes who take their sports seriously off the playing field as well as on it are sure to succeed and come through when their teams need it most.