Hydrating and eating healthy are essential in order for athletes to prepare for their games properly. Athletes must watch what they eat and drink throughout the day to maintain a healthy diet. Their performance is heavily dependent on their lifestyles and how healthy they are.
Soda and junk food are not the healthiest options for athletes. Even though soda doesn’t dehydrate athletes, it doesn’t help to hydrate them. They would lose their energy faster than they would if they drank water.
According to truesport.org, athletes should drink, 16 ounces of water before exercising, and while exercising 4-6 ounces every 15-20 minutes. Finally, after exercising they should drink 16-24 ounces of water. The amount of water intake throughout the day depends on when they are performing and how they want to perform. If they want to perform to the best of their ability, they need to stay hydrated throughout the day. During a game, they should focus on staying hydrated and drinking as much as they can.
Athletes don’t just have to stay hydrated, but they also need to eat a healthy meal before their games. Candy, sweets, and any other junk foods are not healthy options. Junk food isn’t necessarily bad for athletes; it just is not ideal. Eating junk food right before a big game can slow them down and affect their energy level negatively.
“I know I prepared well when I play well,” said junior AJ Jaiswal, a competitive golfing student at LMP.
Athletes should eat enough carbs the night before a game. This helps their body prepare for the next competition.
“I eat pasta or steak before a tournament. It helps get my stamina up so that I don’t get tired,” said Jaiswal.
For extra energy throughout their game, right beforehand they should eat quick healthy snacks such as fruits, energy bars, toast with peanut butter or crackers with cheese.
“Prior to a meet, I normally eat health bars to give me nutrition and energy,” said senior Jazmin Marshall, dancer and track and field athlete. Marshall prefers to eat light before a performance or a meet. “One time before a a track meet I ate too much and ended up cramping in my race, due to too much in my stomach.”
If athletes want to improve their performance even further, they should also focus on how much sleep they obtain. Sleep allows their hearts to rest, helps to prevent illnesses, and improves learning as well as focus. Approximately 8-10 hours of sleep is critical.
If athletes focus on healthy lifestyles they are less likely to make mistakes and suffer fewer injuries while they increase reaction times and perform better overall.