Home Workout Advice For Student-Athletes

Throughout Massachusetts, millions of students have had their classes, extracurriculars, and sports put on hold. For student-athletes, especially upperclassmen, this can be a very challenging time. Already, many schools have found ways to supplement education through online means. Assigning homework, sending worksheets, and even video chatting with teachers has allowed many students to continue their education during this unprecedented time period. However, one area that both adults and students may be struggling with is how to stay physically active during shelter from home policies. Many gyms have closed throughout the state, and unless you have access to a personal home gym, it may seem extremely difficult to stay on top exercise. At SportsGrub, we are dedicated to helping students pursue athletic achievement which is why we wrote this article on home workout advice.

Cardio Exercises You Can Do At Home

By far one of the most difficult areas of exercise to manage when stuck inside is cardio. Many athletes do not have access to treadmills, rowing machines, ellipticals, or stair masters when stuck at home. And the weather does not always permit outdoor activity in the Greater Boston area. That is why it is important to look for other solutions. Here are a few ways to burn calories in and around your home.

  • Outdoor Activity: If the weather permits it and there are pathways nearby, consider taking a run or a bike ride through your area. The CDC and the state of Massachusetts have advised that although we should be limiting our time in public, we are still encouraged to go outside and maintain social distancing. If there is an area where you can easily maintain six feet of distance from others and go on a run or a bike ride, we highly recommend it.
  • Stairs: If your building has enough stairs, you can get a really good cardio workout climbing stairs. Stairs are perfect for calf raises as well. You can vary how you climb stairs from quick sprints to taking stairs slowly but two at a time. Superset your stair climbing with squats to build leg muscle.
  • Cardio Circuits: If you are stuck within your house or apartment, clear a small area and run through a cardio circuit. This includes burpees, high-knees, jumping jacks, and other similar drills. By running this circuit for a few minutes you can get the benefits of high-intensity interval training. (HIIT).

Muscle Training From Home

Aside from cardio, you should find ways to maintain muscle tone while staying at home. Not every athlete has access to weights, but if you do, there are thousands of arm, shoulder, back, leg, and core exercises that can be assisted with weight. You can also create substitute weights. Milk jugs, full water bottles, paint cans, and other objects can act as weights if you do not have dumbbells. Make sure to use the same weight for both arms or sides. Here are a few exercises you can do with makeshift weights:

  • Mason Twist (Russian Twist): A great core workout to add between planks, bicycle crunches, and situps is a mason twist. Sit on a mat, raise your legs off the ground and hold your weight at your core, being twisting allowing the weight to tap either side next to your hip. There are many variations of this exercise that can be used cardio or muscle training.
  • Weighted Squats: A goblet squat involves holding a weight at chest height as you complete your squats. This exercise is great for leg strength.
  • Arm Circuit: If you have two weights that are equal you can use a mix of shoulder shrugs, bicep curls, and overhead presses for a good arm workout.
  • Dumbell Deadlifts: From a squat position lift heavier objects off the ground using your leg muscles.

The key to staying in shape is consistency. Make time every day to get some exercise in, whether that means using virtual classes or creating your own at-home routine. We wish all of our student-athletes good luck and we are excited to see them when the seasons start back up.

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.

Breaking Down 2020 Diet Trends

Disclaimer: SportsGrub does not employ a licensed dietician and therefore is not a source of diet-based information. We do not make recommendations on diets. Instead, we work to provides student-athletes with healthy meals and empower students to learn more about how their diet affects their health.

It seems every year there is a new diet trend that sweeps across the nation. 2019 saw a meteoric rise in intermittent fasting and the keto diet. Every diet has its supporters as well as its critics. Some people even criticize diet trends overall as not providing longterm results. But in order to understand a diet, it is important to break down a diet and its potential pros and cons. Because none of these diets are endorsed by SportsGrub we are able to write an unbiased look at these recent diet trends.

The Keto Diet: Pros & Cons

The keto diet is short for ketogenic diet. Much like gluten-sensitivity dies, the keto diet was actually invented to treat specific digestive diseases. However, when news of its benefits spread, it became a new trendy diet that was claimed by many fitness professionals and dieting companies.

What Is The Keto Diet: The ketogenic diet focuses on forcing the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is the state where the body burns stored fat. In order to make the body enter ketosis, you work to limit carbohydrates through fasting and eating specific foods.

The Pros of the Keto Diet: Some studies that were published in the early 2000s showed that long-term users of the keto diet could reduce body mass, lower the levels of glucose in the blood, and increase the levels of “good cholesterol”. For these reasons, the Keto diet became very popular.

The Cons of the Keto Diet: There are many different keto diets and even more foods and grocery products that market themselves as being “keto”. At their core, the keto diet creates a ratio of 3 calories of fat for every 1 calorie of protein or carbohydrate. That ratio can be unattainable and hard to stick to long-term. Results may be unsustainable long term. Your body needs carbs, and purposefully removing carbs from your diet can be difficult. Many people who saw significant weight loss on the keto diet also reported that they saw the weight return when they got off the diet.

The Paleo Diet: Pros and Cons

Similar to the keto diet, the paleo diet focuses on restricting carb-intake. Paleo comes from the term Paleolithic. It bases its diet off anthropological studies of early cave-dwelling humans. The theory is that if humans could eat similar diets to the diets that our ancestors ate we would have healthier bodies.

The Pros of the Paleo Diet: Paleo focuses on eating foods that are high-protein and low-carb. Similar to keto, the paleo diet can put the body into a ketonic state where body fat is quickly burned. One of the core strengths of paleo is the choice to remove processed foods out of the diet.

The Cons of The Paleo Diet: Much like Keto, Paleo is not sustainable long-term and the results are often reported as not sustainable. Many critics point out that any diet that restricts necessary food groups is not as sustainable or healthy as a diet that focuses on portion control and balance.

Intermittent Fasting: Pros and Cons

Many proponents of intermittent fasting would argue that it is not a diet, but instead, it is an eating pattern. There are many forms of intermittent fasting. Some people argue that every day, users should start and stop eating at the same routine times. Other people argue that you should have on and off days which force your body to constantly adapt to the inconsistent nature of your diet.

The Pros of Intermittent Fasting: From a dietary standpoint, the real benefit of intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t limit specific food groups. Instead, it achieves the ketonic effect through fasting instead of through eliminating a core dietary need.

The Cons of Intermittent Fasting: Many people are quick to note that intermittent fasting is extremely inconvenient and hard to manage. Plus, there isn’t an exact agreement on what version is best. Others argue that it is not the fasting that is beneficial, but the fact that fasting actually forces people to consume fewer calories per day. If a person overeats between fasts, it would completely negate the benefit of the eating pattern.

In Conclusion:

As mentioned above, SportsGrub does not recommend a specific diet or eating plan. Instead, we would argue that the most important things to learn as a student are how to balance daily exercise with a healthy intake of calories. Portion control and a well-balanced diet have been proven to have longer-lasting effects. This is partially because we have studied those diets longer and the newer trendier diets have not had as much time to be researched. Overall, a healthy understanding of the different elements of food is vital for athletes and students. Learn more about health and nutrition from our monthly blog.

What Athletes Should Know About Superfoods

At SportsGrub, we are dedicated to helping student-athletes not just eat better but understand the importance of healthy eating relative to performing on and off the field or court. The key to maximizing your game day potential is understanding how nutrition, meal prep, and meal portions all play a role in your performance. To perform at your top level requires a lot of things to work in unison. Training, practice, nutrition, mental toughness, and other factors all play a role in giving your best performance. And even when you aren’t on the field, these factors play a role in your overall wellbeing. With that, we wanted to take this time to discuss a variety of “superfoods” that student-athletes should pay attention to. 

What Is A Superfood? 

Before listing some important foods you should consider incorporating into your diet, we need to discuss the term “superfood”. Superfood is a bit of a misnomer. The title of superfood did not come from doctors, dietitians, or nutrition experts, but was created for marketing purposes.  That said, there are foods that do have an impact on your diet and overall health. Most foods that are given the label of “superfood” have that label because of their nutrients. It is important to remember that something being labeled as a “superfood” will not inherently make someone more healthy or compensate for a lack of nutrient balance. But it should be noted that there are many foods that are better than others for providing nutrients. 

Foods You Should Incorporate Into Your Diet

As mentioned above “superfood” is not an entirely accurate term for foods that have a positive effect on your diet. But just because that term isn’t an officially recognized term, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few good food options that will benefit your diet. Here are a few items from around the grocery store that can help you improve your diet. 

  • DGLVs: DGLVs or “Dark Green Leafy Vegetables” are a group of foods that include kale, swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens. They provide nutrients including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. All of these nutrients can greatly benefit your diet. 
  • Egg Whites: This is not a new discovery, but egg whites are packed with nutrients as well as high amounts of protein. You can eat eggs with or without the yolk. Yolks do however contain more cholesterol which is why many people prefer to eat just egg whites. Either way, eggs are an efficient ingredient to add to meals after training because of the protein they provide. 
  • Nuts and Seeds: Peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds are great sources of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Best of all, they are perfect for athletes on a vegetarian or other restricted diets. 

Get Healthy Meals From SportsGrub

Sportsgrub provides teams with healthy meals on the go. Too often students have to choose between staying up late to meal prep before a game, eating junk food that they get from fast-food restaurants, or not eating at all before a game. With SportsGrub you get access to healthy meals made fresh before your game that can help you perform at your best. Learn more by contacting our team