Learning about nutritional needs helps ARC’s athletes improve performance

Sports nutrition is one of the cornerstones of athletic success


Understanding nutritional needs can help ARC athletes perform better. (Photo via Adobe Stock)

Learning about nutritional needs can help American River College’s athletes improve their performance. That’s why athletes need the support of the school to learn what they should eat and drink to help their body perform better.

Nutrition is a carefully thought-out dietary strategy that helps active athletes operate at their peak levels. It gives the body the proper nourishment, energy, nutrients and water to keep it hydrated and operating at its best.

“A proper plan for food and nutrient intake is certainly a good foundation for athletic performance by supporting training and recovery,” said Anthony Giusti, an ARC nutrition professor. 

Athletes must pay special attention to the food they eat to fuel their bodies, since their bodies must be able to handle the demands of physical competition. Their nutrition is crucial for both optimum performance and the avoidance of sports-related ailments.

“In terms of ‘how’ the nutrition affects the performance, it is mostly by providing fuels for the work of exercise, as well as the nutrients for recovery, adaptation, and improvement in fitness,” Giusti said.

Everybody’s sports nutrition is different and is planned in accordance with their objectives. It depends on the individual energy needs for each day, a sports nutrition diet might change.

In order to succeed, competitive athletes resort to sports nutrition. Individual objectives may include raising athletic performance, increasing lean mass, or modifying body composition. 

According to Giusti, however, there are some general tips that athletes can follow. 

“To give something to start from, the athletes can pay attention to staying hydrated, eating enough protein and healthy carbohydrates and trying to eat on a regular basis throughout the day,” Giusti said. 

For some young athletes, especially college students, eating healthy means eating expensive food, but as Giusti said, there are different ways to get healthy food which are affordable. 

This is probably the greatest challenge for student-athletes. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive,” Giusti said. “Planning ahead your nutritional plan, shopping at discount stores, buying in bulk and eating frozen and canned food.”

Different nutrition plans are required for these sport-specific circumstances. The appropriate meal selection, calorie consumption, timing of nutrient intake, hydration intake and supplementation are crucial and unique to each person, according to research findings.

To do this, the ARC athletic department should promote a nutritional program for the athletes, in order to help them out to enhance their abilities.

“The Los Rios Community College District and/or American River College can invest resources to work with each team and coaching staff every year to help educate and guide the players in creating better eating habits,” Giusti said.

Having someone that directs them in the right way, will help athletes understand what their body needs to work in the right way and promote a better life-style.