Healthy Numbers on the Scoreboards are made by Healthy Football Players.

September 30, 2011
by Justin

Guess what? I know that you have been told many times that a football players diet is key, but what is creeping in that is preventing you to keep up your game? A healthy football players diet is always considered to be what can make or break a players performance. After and interview with coach Jerry Marvin of Pacific Palisades High School for over 30 years, he has always stood by the philosophy that “you can never overlook a players diet. It’s imperative that a good healthy meal filled with protein, balanced carbs, and essential vitamins will ultimately effect what gets done on the court, the field, and all around performance”. NFL players claim after months of exhaustive training and experience on the field, a study showed that a football players performance was based 80% of their diet.

 

As the adequately overweight rat on the film Ratatouille said, “food is fuel; you let the tank go empty, and you don’t move”. Now, as ironic as that phrase was coming from an overweight rat, his words were correct. Athletes need to nourish themselves. As football players, your running drills, running sprints. You’re practicing defensive and offensive plays. You’re training in off-season, gaining endurance when the fall season kicks off. All of that requires energy. So, you may be asking me, “ok, then what should I eat?”. Well, according to the latest medical research and even Coach Jerry, a healthy football players diet is one full of nutrients, balanced carbs, protein, dairy, and essential vitamins. For example…

 

Start with a healthy breakfast! Try if you can to not gloss over this statement, it is extremely vital that you start the day with vital nutrition and energy. According to the research done at the Kaiser Medical Clinic, when breakfast is skipped, the body will immediately progress to crave something filling, not necessarily healthy. For instance, if you used to be like me, and ran out the door in the morning to school, and forgot your breakfast, the first thing you would crave is a big stack of nachos, or thick piece of pizza. Don’t be fooled about what people may say about nachos and pizza, “cheese is protein, and dairy, and pepperoni is a good source of meats”. Yes, but the grease, and lard, and heavy dough, along with the red meat that makes up that pepperoni actually drain energy from you rather than grant you energy.

 

Secondly, for any football player looking to acquire energy for your Friday night game, stay away from heavy salts, heavy chili’s, and heavy red meats. In the same medical research, salt tends to dehydrate the body, and in a recent study in the Journal of Human Hypertension, observations were made that eating too much salt triggers cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and linked to strokes and coronary heart disease. Furthermore, when in training, it’s important to know what you’re putting into your body. In that same study they found that there is increasing evidence that also suggests that salt intake is related to obesity through soft drink consumption, and associated with kidney stones. So, in summary, try to lay off the salt, food is already full of it.

 

When trying to build up a good nutritional diet for football season, avoid high processed foods such as; processed cereal, ramen noodles, microwave dinners, and prepackaged meals. Sure they taste good, but more times are drained of most of their nutrients, and are injected with chemicals that make the food taste good. And remember this, sodas are not football player drinks. Their high content of salt, sugar, and syrup cause the body to do more work just to get those elements out of your system. You’re football body needs to be a well-oiled machine on the field, avoid things that are going to break/slow down the engine.

 

Now that you have an idea of what not to eat, let’s get to the good stuff; what to eat. In the morning, oats and berries are a good energy booster. Protein/vitamin shakes with as little sugar as possible help the body’s strength and endurance. Egg whites, and unprocessed fruits, and plenty of fluids. In the morning, even though the bathroom may be calling you, you are more likely in need of water. Drink lots of water to keep your body from dehydration. That cannot be stressed enough. Think of it this way; you have planted a garden, and you nurture it with many different mineral rich sods, and wonderful composts, and plenty of sunlight, but you don’t water it. That is pretty much the same thing as filling your body with plenty of healthy foods, and not drinking any healthy fluids. So hydrate yourself always.

 

During lunch, those fried chicken fingers look mighty good, but contain a high level of lard, salt, and fat. Try some sliced lunchmeat, on whole wheat or whole grain bread with a lot of iron rich spinach. When eating a carb rich meal, try whole grain tortillas, pastas, and even breads, your body is more apt to digest and process those nutrients that are filled with energy boosting ingredients.

 

 

Your body is important! You are important! The way you function on the field is important! Take care of your body, by what you put into it. Eat healthy, and you will most likely see a healthy score on the scoreboard due to you and your team’s performance.

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