Nutrition playing a bigger role to athletes

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Delta College athletes not only focus on school and work outside of practices and lectures, they focus on nutritional value in order to ensure they’re in their prime for a game or competition.

“Nutrition is key every day for a student athlete. We are planning to supply our players with supplements and water bottles this year so they can stay hydrated and nourished during the day when they attend classes, and after when they come to training. We do recommend they always have a bot- tle of water in their bag wherever they go,” said soccer head assistant coach Brandon Masai.

Nutrition is something athletes have to keep in mind while taking care of life’s other callings.

For some, this can include carrying around a jug of water as a reminder to stay hydrated.

“I’m definitely not perfect … Now that I think about it I drink so much water everyday but its become such a habit to me that I don’t even notice it. I always have a water bottle with me,” said Hailey Black, a beach volleyball player.

The human body is 60 percent water, and if athletes aren’t hydrated they can face dehydration which occurs when the amount of water in the body decreases by two percent and can have an effect on a player’s performance, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

“Everyone’s body is different. I try and stay within 2,500 calories and 3,000 calories during regular season. I typically drink 6, 16-ounce water bottles throughout the day just to stay hydrated,” said Miguel Millan, a Delta College student and soccer player.

The amount of nutrients (protein, calcium, iron, etc.) players get creates a form of individualism on nutritional values based on the sport being played, age, race, height and weight which is why athletes aren’t given strict nutrition plans but are left to do it on their own, which becomes a priority.

“I would just say that I have to be strict with myself and think about what I’m putting into my body. e most import- ant thing is balancing my diet which I have to work on every day. It’s not easy but its so worth it,” said Black.

Staying on top of a diet isn’t only for game time but school, homework, and work as well, since diet has an influence on all of these areas but resources are available.

“We as coaches can see the difference in our players’ performance in training and competition with their energy, cognitive functioning, and efforts. They are recommended to carry water and soon to be ‘coach issued’ Gatorade bottles with water and/or supplements. In addition to this we have a Men’s Soccer Only box in e Zone (the student athlete study lounge) stocked with snacks, and food including protein bars, protein shakes, and materials to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so that if a player comes to campus hungry, they have a resource they can use so they can stay nutritionally balanced to go to class and train,” Masai said.

Coaches provide a helping hand for athletes by encouraging players to live a healthy lifestyle.

They might not be giving players individual nutrition plans but are providing players with lists of nutritious food.

“We are given a nutrition plan of different foods to eat that our coaches recommend but they don’t really enforce it as much. It’s up to the athlete on what they want to eat,” said student Kaitlin Rice, a track and field athlete.