Nutrition is a key component for progress and health when it comes to athletic performance. Eating nutritiously and making sure to have a balanced diet is crucial for athletes. Since food is the body’s fuel, when the right amount and proper food is ingested, one will both feel and play better.
Without proper food before a practice or a game, one will not perform the same. Without proper nutrients, it is harder to recover, causing fatigue throughout games and practices. Student athlete, Molly Schmidt says, “Going into a game without the proper nutrients is like showing up to a test without studying.”
Before big games, most Ridgewood sports teams have pasta parties. These parties are not only helpful to form a bond with the team, but also so athletes get the proper carbohydrates and proteins. Girls soccer player Kate Russell claims, “I play much better after a pasta party because all of the carbs I eat turn into energy.” An article by Medlineplus states, “Carbohydrates are needed to provide energy during exercise. … They provide energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These foods are low in fat. Simple sugars, such as soft drinks, jams and jellies, and candy provide a lot of calories, but they do not provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.” Healthy forms of carbohydrates can be the difference between a win and a loss, as the energy provided from the food fuels athletes.
At RHS, before games and practices, there is food for the athletes to buy outside of gym one. Some of the best choices are apples, bananas, strawberries, water, gatorade, bagels and pretzels. A lot of athletes already buy food there which is a wise choice.
Overall, student athletes need the proper nutrients to play their best. Eating better will improve one’s performance. Remember to intake the proper nutrients and you will be rewarded with higher energy, stronger muscles, better performance, and faster recoveries!
Graphic: Evie Cullen