Student Athletes Need a Balanced Diet
Athletes fall every day with numerous injuries due to a lack of nutrition.
Are student athletes maintaining a balanced diet? Accord to Murray and Horswill
(1977) we need 40 different nutrients to function properly. As an athlete
it is important to maintain healthy growth, weight control, healthy immune
function, optimize metabolism, and maintain the growth of all tissues.
Athletes should eat a variety of foods to prevent injuries
and tissue damage due to physical activities. Food varieties eaten daily
provide needed nutrients to aid in an optimal recovery from injury and to
help prevent injuries. The balance diet is the key to the completely recovery
of damaged tissue.
Immune function: According to Huffman-Goetz (1997), intense
exercise and over-training depresses the immune system, and moderate exercise
enhances the immune function. A diet rich in vital nutrients, especially
anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E provides support for the immune
system of athletes who are following a heavy training program.
- Eat a variety of foods (Vegetables, fruits, Legumes, nuts & seeds,
Grains, cereal & pasta, fish, meats),
- Balance food intake with physical activity to maintain or improve weight.
- Choose a diet rich in grains, fresh all natural or organic vegetables
- Select foods with no trans fats, no MSG,
low in saturated fats, and cholesterol.
- Choose foods with low to moderate sugar content.
- Choose foods with contain moderate salt and sodium content.
Steer clear of:
- Juices & sodas ( heavy in sugar and
High fructose corn syrup content)
- Sugar substitutes ( May contain aspartame)
- Trans fat (any type of partially or fully hydrogenated oil)
- Gluten products – (Be sure
you are not gluten intolerance, lead to many health issues)
- Processed foods, fast foods ( contains growth hormones preservatives,
MSG, gluten, additives, etc.)
- MSG ( may contribute to weight gain,
diabetes and many other health issues)
- Fats and cholesterol are nutrients to limit in your diet if you want
to reduce your risk of weight gain, chronic disease. Heart disease and
cancer, two of this nation's leading killers, are linked to diets high
- Other chronic health and weight problems may be exacerbated by high
fat diets. Saturated fat, that is, fat that is solid at room temperature,
appears to carry the greatest amount of risk.
These are suggestion the may help the student athlete
optimize their body and provide maximum flexibility, performance, limit injury
and reduce the injury recovery periods. It will also lead to good life time
habbits of health