Sports Nutrition

Deniz Ince

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    Everybody knows the importance of staying fit and eating right, but nobody seems to know it better than some of West’s student athletes, who eat healthy to help them in their respective sports. What most don’t know is that in addition to helping athletes maintain their fitness, getting the right nutrients can also be instrumental in avoiding serious injuries.

    Emma Koch ’19 has been injured a number of times and has learned the significance of eating right.

    “I had a hairline fracture in my spine, I broke my foot, and I broke the growth plate of my big toe,” she said. Koch plays both tennis and basketball, and is on the varsity team in both sports.

Koch, being a very dedicated athlete in two sports, was presented with a very dull life during her time being injured.

    “I was super bored and couldn’t do anything because I spend most of my time doing activities like basketball and tennis. I couldn’t do that and I couldn’t do anything to keep myself in shape, either. I couldn’t bike or swim, so I was just pretty bored all the time,” she said.

    For Koch and many other athletes, treatment is slow and mundane, as athletes need to allow their bodies enough time to heal and also bring in their heavy exercise very slowly.

     “For my back they sat me out for 6 weeks doing absolutely nothing and during that I was doing physical therapy twice a week and after that it was a super slow recovery where first you would bring in jogging,” Koch said.

   After her several injuries, Koch has this year decided to alter her eating habits.

    “I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and I drink a lot of milk. I avoid really sugary stuff; I don’t drink soda anymore and I don’t eat chips anymore,” she said.

    Another student-athlete who works to get enough vitamins to stay healthy is cross country, track and softball athlete Claire Ronnebaum ’18. Ronnebaum was affected by a tendinitis injury in her foot at the end of the 2015 cross country season.

    “[I didn’t like] not participating and doing the full activity with the team. I had to step off to the side and do my own little workout,” she said. “Treatment was doing drills to strengthen my foot.”

After her doctors recommended it, Ronnebaum began taking extra supplements to make sure she is staying healthy during the season.

    “I take some supplement pills to help my body. I take a normal vitamin pill and an iron pill because most runners are low in iron. Then I take vitamin C pills if I feel like I’m getting a cold so I stay healthy,” she said.

    Both Koch and Ronnebaum believe that their eating habits have helped them become better athletes and stay injury-free throughout the season.

    “I think they help me because I started cutting sugar out of my diet more and that helps me a lot. I feel less tired and I just feel more energetic and better,” Koch said.

    Maddie Fletcher ’16, a dancer at Kate Carol & Company Dance, is just another one of the multitudinal athletes at West that has adjusted her eating habits to improve her athletic performance.

    “I try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and I try to eat a lot of whole grain things,” she said. “It helps me stay fit and healthy.”

   Eating nutritious foods is important in all sports to make sure one can remain healthy and keep away from injuries.

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Sports Nutrition