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The Top 3 Things I Tell Athletes
Sports Dietitian Natalie Christensen, RDN, LD, CSSD shares her top advice for college athletes.
Align Your Diet and Training/Competition Schedule
Everything you put into your body impacts your athletic performance. Making healthy choices and eating the right balance of nutrients is key for both training and competition. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Choose whole-grain carbs and limit refined grains. Make sure you are getting enough high-quality protein. Enjoy dairy products daily to get the calcium and vitamin D your body needs.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Staying hydration means getting enough fluids before, during, and after training and competitions. Fluids play a very important role in the body and as little as a 2 percent drop in your hydration can negatively affect your athletic performance. A general rule of thumb is to consume a minimum of 2-3 cups before training and 4-6 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise. Good options include water, milk, 100% fruit juices, and sports drinks.
Get Enough Rest
Finding the time to get those needed ZZZs is tough during college. Add the rigor of a college athlete’s training and competition schedule and it’s easy to miss out on a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for recovery and for renewal of your mind, spirit, and body. Research has found that inadequate sleep can decrease the production of the release of carbs stored for energy needed for training and competition.