First of six seminars: students discuss nutrition for athletes

The seminar looked closely at athletes verse non-athletes nutritional habits focusing on macronutrients and their effects on the body

The seminar for the Introduction to Nutrition and Macronutrients was held on March 29 in the Williams Fieldhouse. It was the first of six seminars about sports performance nutrition. The session provided an introductory look into the importance of nutrition for athletes and the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

“I believe a lot of athletes and people are not aware of how much nutrition is important throughout life,” presenter and junior human and health performance major Mitch Langkamp said. “I feel that a lot of people and athletes under eat and it affects their performance and that the average student may overeat and that will affect them as well. I want to show the difference between the regular student and an athlete when it comes to nutrition.”

The seminar started off with a quick activity where the individuals in attendance, wrote down how many calories they thought they ate during their last meal. The audience also had the option to guess how many grams of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins the meal also contained. At the end of the session, the audience was asked to go to the My Fitness Pal app or to in order to determine what the actual values of their meal were.

The majority of the session focused on athletes and how important it is for them to get the nutrients they need in order to perform at a higher level.

“Nutrition is important because I feel like most athletes aren’t getting proper nutrition and could be performing at a higher level if they did,” junior human and health performance major Aaron Kaiser said.

“I believe nutrition is just as, if not more, important than training.” Langkamp said. “You can be an animal in the weight room and at training, but having a bad diet brings you back to being an average athlete.”

The example of a bad diet negatively affecting an athlete’s ability was brought up often throughout the seminar, which in turn stressed the importance for an athlete to not only train hard, but to eat right and ensure that they consume the proper nutrients.

“I learned what is important to put into the body such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins,” freshman business administration major Connor Foley said.

The informative session provided information on macronutrients which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins and why they are important, especially for athletes.

The session stressed how carbohydrates are an important part of a person’s diet because if avoided the body is unable to efficiently function.

The seminar also discussed how fats are an important part of the diet, but like many things, they should be consumed in moderation. The session also explained how out of the four types of fats, monounsaturated fats are the best fats, while trans fats are considered the worst for your body.

The last macronutrient, protein, is essential when it comes to muscle growth and development which makes it very important for athletes.

“I think that what we put into our body directly affects what we get out, energy wise,” Langkamp said. “Good nutrition will equal out to our full potential and athleticism.”

Information about the calculation of how many calories a meal or food contains based on fats, carbohydrates and proteins within it was also provided.

“Nutrition is important because if you want to perform to your full potential, then you need to fuel your body correctly,” Kaiser said.

Individuals interested in attending any of the other seminars within the six-part series are invited to attend every Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Williams Fieldhouse room B52.

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