Nutrition Tips for High School Athletes Who Will Be Playing Sports in College

sport nutrition Aug 04, 2023

Get on a routine and start in the summer.  It can be difficult to find your routine at college so it is important to begin carving out a routine now. It is so important to not wait until the first day of college because there are so many new stressors. You are all of a sudden balancing practice, weights, school, and social life in a way you never have before. The faster you find your routine, the easier this will all be! At the beginning of each semester, map out your schedule and plan where your meals and snacks will fall. You will likely find these don’t happen at home or even in the dining hall. Plan ahead for what you can pack or where you can go to ensure you get adequate nutrition throughout the day.  

Prioritize sleep – With so many new items in your schedule, it can be tempting to give up sleep to make everything else happen… DON’T! Studies have shown athletes perform significantly better both in their sport and in the classroom when they have 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Keeping your room at a comfortable temperature, minimizing screen time leading up to bed, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon can help with improving your sleep quality. Try implementing these things throughout the summer in preparation for the Fall!

Don’t fall into the trap of party culture – Society often paints a picture that the college experience includes a lot of partying. This isn’t the reality for most college students, especially student-athletes. One night of drinking in excess can set back your performance in the weight room by a full 2 weeks. If you are drinking just one night each week, this means your performance will never be at its best. Drinking also increases the risk of injury, illness, and disrupts your sleep cycle. Instead, try and find hobbies that bring you joy and social connection that you can also lean on when your athletic career comes to a close. 

Remember, if you start your preparations for the Fall now, you will have a much easier transition once school begins. Start with small goals and add a bit more time learning about food and how to make easy-to-make dishes that you can replicate in a dorm or apartment when on campus. Here’s to a great summer!


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