Protein Tips for Student Athletes

Protein is an important part of your diet. This is especially true for athletes. There are a lot of different opinions on when to eat protein, what foods to get protein from, and how much protein athletes should consume. At SportsGrub we try to incorporate both meat-based protein and plant-based protein in many of our meals. We figured we would write a short guide on protein for student athletes. As a reminder, although SportsGrub is passionate about dietary research and news, we are not a source of researched information.

Where To Get Protein

There are many different foods that provide protein. Generally when you ask a student to think of a food that provides a good amount of protein, their first thoughts are meats. Chicken, fish, steak, and pork all provide protein. However, many meats also provide a substantial amount of fatand sodium. It is important to consider all of your macro and micro nutrients when choosing a meal. In fact, protein can also be found in dairy products like milk and a variety of vegetarian options like: peanuts & peanut butter, chickpeas, eggs, and beans. Of course there are also protein supplements include whey protein power.

Should You Use Protein Supplements?

This is an interesting question. Many high school and college athletes buy large tubs of protein power or protein drinks to supplement their protein intake. With any supplement it is always wise to talk to a nutritionist. An important thing to remember is that your body is only going to use what it needs. Although excess fat will be stored in the body in fat cells, excess protein will not. So, getting more than what your diet or exercise routine requires is not necessarily going to help improve your muscle mass or performance. We recommend tracking your protein intake in a dietary journal or an app. By tracking how much protein get, you can decide whether or not additional protein may be necessary.

When Should You Consume Protein?

Protein is beneficial for a training athlete. Although those benefits can be increased based on timing. It is recommended that protein is consumed directly after an intense muscle training. In the past many gyms and trainers recommended immediately taking in protein after a workout. The argument was that you had a 30 minute window after intense training where protein intake could be optimized. However, other research has shown that this window may be larger than the 30 minute golden rule. Generally, doing the right workouts and consuming the right amount of protein is more important than the timing, but if you can, you should try to consume protein heavy food after a workout.

Learn More From SportsGrub

SportsGrub exists to help student and young adult athletes eat healthy before their games. By combining portion sizing, nutritious ingredients, and delicious recipes, we help teams of athletes meal prep for their sporting events. We also beleive that it is imperative that students learn how their diets affect their bodies and their performance. That is why we have this blog to share ideas on nutrition. For more information or to set up a delivery of one of our meals, contact SportsGrub online.

Nutrition Tips For High School Athletes

SportsGrub provides meals to high school and college teams throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide nutritious meals that are based around portion control and vital nutrients. Part of our goal is to also help students learn important techniques when planning their own diets. We believe that it is vital that students learn about how nutrition impacts their physical health while they are in school so that they can carry that knowledge into adulthood. That is why we use this guide to go over some health basics. It is important to note, that we are not nutritionists and base our health facts on general research, but we do recommend that students and parents do their own research and strive to learn more about healthy eating.

Every Student Is Different

The first dietary truth that you need to consider is that there really isn’t one size fits all diets. Now there are a lot of nutritional guidelines that can benefit everyone, but subscribing to a specific diet is not always best or even healthy. Every person’s body is different and has different and unique needs. Based on your gender, your level of physical activity, your weight, height, and body mass, and metabolism you will need different levels of calories, protein, carbs, and fat.

There Are No “Unneeded” Nutrients

There are many diets that recommend eliminating a core nutrient like carbs or fat. The truth is, there are no unneeded nutrients. Everyone needs to have protein, carbs, and fat in their diet. The idea that fat or carbs are bad for you is actually not true. There are many healthy fats that you can get from foods like avocadoes, peanut butter, and oils. It is better to focus on the percentages of those nutrients instead of eliminating one of them. Depending on your goals, you can increase or decrease food groups and nutrients, but you should never remove one completely from your diet.

Managing Sugars, Sodium, & Other “Micro” Nutrients

It is also important to pay attention to micronutrients like vitamins, sodium, sugar, and other nutrients. Getting the right amount of vitamins each day is important especially for students whose bodies are still growing. It is very helpful for students to talk to their doctors about general nutrition and to find foods that contain important vitamins and minerals. Simultaneously, it is important to limit sodium and sugar intake. Additionally, it can be beneficial to time sugar and sodium intake around a workout, practice, or game. Salt specifically is helpful for replenishing electrolytes after exercise.

Get Healthy Meals From SportsGrub

If you go to school in Eastern Massachusetts and are looking for healthy meals for your sports team, SportsGrub can help. We deliver meals right to your game, and with our app, it is easy for the whole team to order.