In the past many professional athletes and sport organizations ignored the benefits that come with healthy eating. Athletes did not put an emphasis on even training for the upcoming season.
But within the last two decades, the correlation between on-field success, with nutrition and training has not only been acknowledged, but embraced.
These effects have started to drip into amateur athletics.
David Sigmund, a varsity baseball player for Humber College acknowledges the effect eating properly has had on his performance on the court, as well as his lifestyle.
“Having set eating plans in place throughout the course of the day puts you in the best place to succeed not only during competition but also during training and any other coaching sessions.”
Sigmund is a third-year sports management student at Humber and he says that this is a day-to-day process.
“My day consists of a regular breakfast, lunch and dinner but also periodically having small healthy snacks throughout the day to keep me energized. This is usually something as simple as sliced fruit or some kind of granola bar.”
Shawn Rooke, a former junior hockey player and a Humber College athlete says eating nutritious foods can help when training as well.
“Eating nutrient dense foods provide me with vitamins and minerals which allow my muscles and body to recover so I can continuously train 5 to 6 days per week.”
Rooke, who is also a sports management student says that nutrients are not the only benefits of eating healthy.
“Monitoring food intake plays a huge role, which assists me to gain, maintain or lose weight during any point in a season”.
Andrew Blakey, a varsity volleyball player at Humber College says that while he doesn’t know how directly eating properly translates to the volleyball court, he does know how it helps his body.
“I do notice a massive change if I go a week of eating poorly. I feel sluggish, lazy, and lethargic.”
Blakey, a fourth–year kinesiology student at Guelph Humber says he has been trying to eat clean for about five years now. He says that the summer is when he is able to consistently maintain good eating habits.
“During the summer I have a lot more time to prepare meals as I am not in school, so I am able to devote a lot more time to eating properly.”
As with all athletes and those who eat healthily, there are always cheat or slip days. Rooke says that for him those are planned.
“Most frequently, those cheat meals occur shortly after the season, and just before the offseason. Throughout those weeks, it is our least intense phase, and we are encouraged to relax after a long season.”
When asked about their favourite cheat meals, both Rooke and Sigmund offered similar meals.
“My favourite cheat meal would be either some honey garlic chicken wings or a bacon cheeseburger.” Rooke said.
Sigmund added, “there is not much better than getting to sit back and watch some kind of sporting event with some buddies while enjoying some pizza and wings”.