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Healthy eating proven to improve performance

Alan Samson

Staff writer

 

Training and practice are important aspects of every athlete’s life, but healthy eating is possibly the most vital part of an athlete’s day. Making the right choice in the cafeteria every day will make you perform better on and off the field, according to health professor and athletic trainer Katrina Worley. She believes what an athlete eats affects his performance.

“If all an athlete eats is junk, then they will perform like junk,” said Worley.

Meats, fruits, vegetables and proteins are recommended for athletes. Without these essential nutrients, the body will shut down and become sluggish. Pizza and fried foods are not going to provide an athlete with the fuel to play. Shorter’s weight training coach Ben Lampkin always encourages his athletes to make healthy choices to enhance their game.

“Athletes need to stay away from the pizza. It doesn’t give you any fuel,” said Lampkin. “Trade the pizza for a salad every meal.”

Athletes need to drink clean and pure water to maintain optimal performance, Lampkin added. It’s not only about eating right but also hydrating properly and continuously. Sophomore wrestler Brandon Dyer said drinking a lot of fluids is imperative.

“Hydration is important, especially when practicing in the heat,” Dyer said. “You never want to experience dehydration.”

The foods a person chooses should be of varieties that are low in fat and free of additives such as growth hormones or preservatives. Chicken and pasta are good choices for a pregame meal with a sports drink or water.