The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Pregame Nutrition

Note: A picture that was included with this story when it was originally posted has been removed.

Before every practice, game, or performance, most athletes ask themselves the same question: What can I eat or drink that will best prepare me for my sport?  There are many foods and drinks that will ready an athlete’s body for an athletic performance.

The first is water.  It is indispensable that every athlete drinks a good amount of water before they compete.  Water helps the body stay hydrated while engaging in a rigorous activity.  Health teacher Ms. Shona Moeller explained her college swim coach’s philosophy on drinking water.

“My coach always recommended that we drink half our body weight in water.  That means if a person is 160 oz, they should drink 80 oz daily when training,” Ms. Moeller said.

School nurse, Ms. Cameron Traut, also thinks it is very important to stay hydrated for a game.

“Being well hydrated is really important…it improves the body’s ability to perform,” Ms. Traut said.

According to Ms. Moeller, coffee is a bad choice before a game.

“Starbucks doesn’t count for your daily consumption of water… in fact, caffeine dehydrates the body,” Ms. Moeller explained.

Ms. Moeller also stated that “as far as eating goes, it is better to eat proteins, good carbs, and vegetables before a performance.  Good carbs, like those coming from fruits and vegetables, help bring energy to the body.  Protein helps for building muscle, which is helpful when playing a sport.  I lean my athletes toward eating natural, unprocessed foods, such as anything that grows from the ground or animal products.  During training and prior to game situations, athletes should be eating lean proteins to re-build muscle, good or natural fats for energy, and simple and complex carbohydrates to ensure insulin levels stay balanced.”

Ms. Traut also gave advice on a healthy diet for an athlete.

“Athletes should practice eating a healthy, balanced diet, even when they are not performing in a sport,” Ms. Traut explained.  “But for before a longer event, eating more carbs will help the body sustain energy.”

Freshman Alex Smith, who plays basketball for LHS, drinks plenty of water and eats carbohydrates before a game.

“I usually drink a lot of water that day and then have a [Nature Valley] granola bar or two about 30 minutes before the game,” Smith said.

Smith’s pre-game snacks are a good source of carbohydrates, which will give him energy for his basketball games.  The water will also keep him hydrated.  Overall, Smith’s diet before the game is very helpful.

So if you are an athlete waking up on game day, here are some things to keep in mind: Drink lots of water to help the body stay hydrated, eat good carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables to help the body maintain energy and build muscle, and finally, don’t eat any processed or unhealthy foods before a performance.  All of these tips will help athletes perform at a higher level when competing.

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Pregame Nutrition