Student Athlete Health & Nutrition: Top Tips

Article By: Abhi Kottamasu

Photograph By: Sarah Kim

Thinking about rewarding yourself for a good workout with a bacon cheeseburger and side of large fries? Think again! What you eat after hitting the gym or finishing a grueling training session may just be the most important meal choice you make all day. A post-workout meal is important in fueling muscle growth and repair, as well as and replenishing your body of lost energy; thus, failing to consume a proper meal after a workout can really hinder physical progression and development (especially in active, growing high schoolers!). Here are some food and drink options that our ISM students use to fuel and reload depleted muscles post-workout.

Greek Yoghurt: Greek yoghurt contains double the amount of protein compared to regular yoghurt, and is a fantastic source of carbohydrates after a long workout. Junior and Bearcat soccer athlete, Mark W., usually accompanies it with some cereal or berries, and says that it’s also a satisfying and healthy way for a hungry athlete to top off a carb-loaded meal in place of high-fat or sugary desserts.

Fruit Salad: Not only are fruits filled with healthy, complex carbohydrates, they also contain the enzymes needed to help the body break down nutrients and deliver them to tired muscles. Another junior and varsity basketball player, Mia D., recalls reinvigorating herself after a game during IASAS by eating some wholesome oranges or bananas. Good choice, Mia!

Pasta: This food is an athlete’s best friend both pre- or post-workout. It contains digestible carbs that can help restock the used glycogen stores, and also has fiber which helps to fill you up. Pasta can also be the perfect, nutrient-rounded meal when tossed with veggies, lean meat, legumes, or tofu.

Salmon: In terms of nutrition, salmon is the king of fish. Not only is it an excellent source of protein, but it is also the best source of omega-3, healthy fats. Junior Arjun C., ISM track record holder, enjoys having a serving of salmon for dinner after a long run or grueling workout. He drools just thinking about poached salmon with fresh herbs, or even some salmon stirred into wholesome soups.

All in all, it is a clear trend that protein is one section of the food pyramid that is vital to include in a post-workout meal, and along with the other macro and micronutrients, should not be neglected when choosing your source of food, post-workout! Next time you’re congratulating yourself for getting your sweat on, remember to make the most of it with a healthy and wholesome meal!