(Feature image Sharon Wu | The Poly Post)

Athletes home in on nutrition in preparation for spring

While all members of Bronco Athletics await the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s decision on whether sports will resume in the spring, athletes are staying ready by honing in on their nutrition. The CPP Sports Performance Team, compiled of athletic trainers, coaches, psychologists and others, is dedicated to help prepare student-athletes for their much-anticipated return to campus.

Since March, many athletes reached out to the Sports Performance Team with questions ranging from workouts to nutrition.

CPP’s Team Nutrition Educators have organized multiple Zoom calls with the sports teams to discuss in-depth nutritional information. The TNE and CPP Sports Performance Instagram pages have also provided routine workout and nutrition content that athletes can view.

Assistant Athletic Trainer Albert Torres, a member of the performance team, is a strong believer that everything achieved in a person’s athletic career will influence how they do things in their life when they are done as an athlete.

“Students need to have a level of proper nutrition to maintain optimal learning performance,” Torres said. “I can’t stress this enough, but nutrition is something we can control during this pandemic and building good eating habits will set us up for success in the future. Student-athletes will need to make those decisions on their own and this is why our CPP Sports Performance staff is working hard to educate in this area.”

Many students’ nutritional diets are influenced by their schedules. With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting every CPP athlete’s routine, their focus on nutrition is important if they are to return to campus back in shape.

Torres believes athletes should base their nutrition off which foods fuel the body. He sees food as the energy that allows a person to perform at high levels and reduce their chances of injury. When athletes lack pivotal nutrients or calories, the body will need to adapt to maintain their health and function.

“Too much stress placed on the body with no fuel to utilize will negatively impact movement mechanics and the body’s physiological function,” Torres said. “If the body is busy being in ‘survival mode’ while you exercise with not enough fuel, something will give. This is where we see athletes undergoing acute injuries, like muscle strains, or see chronic conditions complicate, like stress fractures and prolonged muscle soreness.”

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chase Sanders advises that all athletes develop some type of a dietary routine. Outside of that, he wants the athletes to have some greens with their meals, stay hydrated and be consistent.

“Nutrition and sleep are huge factors in almost everything we do,” Sanders said. “Food is what provides the athletes the needs to perform at a high level. From how we recover, to how we feel, to how much energy we have throughout the day… a lot of that can be traced back to our nutrition and sleep.”

Junior outside hitter Savanna Meinert on the women’s volleyball team is one student-athlete taking advantage of the resources provided by the Sports Performance Team.

“Going back home to Fresno and being far away from my team and the campus, it was a bit of a hard adjustment for me,” Meinert said. “It was hard to get back into a healthy routine regarding my relationship with food. So, that’s when I reached out to Sports Performance and they gave me some really good tips. I want to be ready for when we go back.”

Meinert sustained multiple injuries to her ACL throughout her entire volleyball career and does not plan on enduring another, especially not one that she can control.

“I have really been focusing on my nutrition, specifically so my body does not fatigue our first day back at practice,” Meinert said. “Not only is my body feeling better just from eating healthier foods, but my head feels clear and I feel more focused on my academics and athletics.”

Although it is uncertain whether CPP athletics will return in the spring, the staff and athletes remain optimistic. Trainers are frequently meeting with the teams via Zoom and organizing check-ins with athletes.

“At the end of day, all we want is for our athletes to practice good nutritional habits that they can carry with them for a lifetime,” Sanders said

(Feature image Sharon Wu | The Poly Post)

Verified by MonsterInsights