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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Nutrition: athlete vs student

Athlete+Nutrition
Photo by Photo via Creative Commons
Athlete Nutrition

The energy intake between athletes and students is vastly different — A&M athletes adhere to very specific diet while a typical student has a little more wiggle room.

 

A team of A&M professors conducted a survey to examine the weight of freshman after one year at A&M. In this study, more students said they gained weight while less students said they lost weight and attributed this to a change in diet. As for athletes, energy intake is extremely important and relies heavily on carbohydrates, protein and hydration. Delving into NCAA guidelines, there are few rules as to what athletes should eat.

 

Kelby Nixon, a biomedical science junior and former basketball player at University of Texas at Dallas, said nutrition plays a major role in an athlete’s performance and recovery time and athletes must drink a lot of liquids to accelerate the recovery rate.

 

“We would eat a full four meals a day because we were working out three hours a day plus weights,” Nixon said. “We limited drinks to water and Gatorade while working out and often some source of protein at night. The meal plan we ate off of was very a balanced meal with meat, veggies [and] fruit.”

 

Stephen Hargis, a general studies junior, said he has maintained a healthy lifestyle since freshman year that includes strict diet, physical activity and sleep.

 

“I’m on the zone diet, your goal is to meet all your macros, which are protein, carbs and fat.” Hargis said. “You want 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat and 40 percent carbs. It’s definitely shown me how addicted to sugar I am, but it’s great because I can eat a lot, but have it be healthy and feel great.”

 

Many first-year college students find themselves buying a meal plan that is too big and struggle to finish it by the end of the semester. Madison Becker, a theater arts senior, said she it is very important for her to maintain a healthy diet.

 

“I’ve been eating two packets of oatmeal in the morning, jerky, cheese and an apple for lunch,” Becker said. “Compared to prior semesters, I was not eating or drinking correctly. Now, I feel a lot better and more energized for class.”  

 
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