Sw(eating) Right Into Shape


Provided by Kailee Gifford

Kailee eats beef tacos with a kale infused smoothie.

by Justin Su , Sports Editor

As school resumes this year, athletes begin preparation for their upcoming sports seasons by following rigorous diets to gain advantages once the season begins.

Eating healthy is one of the most important parts of athletes’ lives, as it allows them to build and maintain muscle mass, stay energized during practice and perform at the highest competitive level.

“I work out at Sparta Science, and along with physical training they work with me to develop good eating habits because I’m trying to put on more weight before I get into college. I try to eat as many grams of protein a day as I weigh,” soccer player Kailee Gifford (12) said. “In the morning I’ll have bacon and eggs, and for lunch I’ll have a sandwich or something with meat in it, and for dinner I’ll have steak or chicken or fish, something with a lot of protein. You wouldn’t be fueling a really nice car with bad gas, so if I want to be a good athlete, I need to be fueling my body with what’s going to help me put on the most muscle.”

However, wrestler Shikhar Solanki (11), is trying to maintain his weight, if not lose some.

“In order to build muscle, I have lots of protein: protein shakes, chicken, chicken and curry, lamb curry, mutton curry and shrimp curry. [However,] the most important meal of the day is breakfast. I have myself two toasts, a glass of milk and Cheerios—honey nut.” Shikhar said. “While eating all that protein is good for my muscle mass, I have to make sure to work off the weight in order to maintain my pounds and stay in my weight class.”

While changing weight is one of the products of many athletes’ diets, the biggest reason for athletes to eat healthy is to increase their energy.

“Diet is probably the most important factor in being healthy for games. When I eat too few calories, I feel lightheaded and dizzy due to constant sprints during practice and the many pounds of gear,” football linebacker Rishabh Nijhawan (12) said. “I try to eat starches and carbs the day before games in order to make sure I am ready to play at full capacity.”

Practices for fall sports are already underway, so it won’t be long before these diets have an impact.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on August 26, 2016.