Importance of nutrition cannot be understated

Athletes and other physically active individuals learned to improve their overall performance by making healthy food choices at the Food: Fuel for Performance event.

The Kinesiology Department held two sessions of the event this past weekend. Admission was free and geared toward student athletes, but all students were encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the event was to educate physically active students about best nutrition practices for pre- and post-workouts.

Campus Recreation Fitness Coordinator Valerie Adams organized the event.

Similar programs were held in the past, but this is the first interactive event that encouraged students to become involved in the workshop and make their own healthy decisions.

“Nutrition is often overlooked on our campus. We lack in a department that really specializes in nutrition,” Adams said.

Mentors and students from the Kinesiology department gave a presentation geared to help physically active individuals improve dietary practices. Students learned about the macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats.

Many try to avoid carbohydrates, but they should make up the largest portion of one’s daily food intake (45 percent to 60 percent). This is especially important for athletes because carbohydrates supply energy and extend time fatigue.

“I think a really awesome take home message is that carbs are the No. 1 fuel for athletes,” Adams said. “They are like the gas to your body.”

Tatum Goldufsky, fifth-year health science major, collaborated with Adams to plan the event. One of the goals was to break down misconceptions students may hold about nutrition.

Goldufsky wants students to know that fats are not as bad as most people think. The event gave examples of healthy fats and encouraged students to make fats 20 percent to 35 percent of their daily food intake.

“I hope students learn how important it is to take care of yourself and improve your well being, just by making little changes,” Goldufsky said.

Arliyah Harris, nursing freshman, came to the event to learn about what she consumes in her everyday life.

“Foods I thought were healthy really aren’t and vice versa,” Harris said.

Many athletes make the mistake of ingesting too many protein supplements. Protein should be 10 percent to 35percent of one’s diet, which means obtaining protein from food is more effective and cost-efficient than spending money on supplements.

“Protein after workout is necessary; however, only to a certain extent. Carbs should be the main focus after a workout, complimented with protein,” Adams said.

Students were able to make their own bags of trail mix and were given handouts about healthy meals and portion sizes. They were also able to participate in a game of jeopardy to compete for bags of groceries.

Adams said she plans to make nutrition-based events a more regular part of the university. Possible future events include a competition similar to “Iron Chef,” cooking demos and coordinating with chefs from dining services.

“I hope nutrition stays as a topic that is addressed and supported by our department,” Adams said.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 6th, 2014 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.