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Preventing injuries by eating healthy

Eun Ho Kim, Features

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For most high school athletes, there is nothing more exciting than hearing the roar of fellow students cheering for them as they make the winning touchdown, goal, or home run.

The most discouraging news for athletes would be being sidelined, especially for health-related injuries.

Therefore, athletes must be mentally and physically fit to perform at their best. Contrary to popular belief that warming up and practicing harder are the only ways to stay fit, in actuality, the simplest way is to maintain a nutritious diet.

“A lot of injured athletes think, ‘I’m not practicing so I need to significantly cut back on caloric intake,’” Sunwoo Oh (12), who does Judo, said. “They return back to practice more prone to injuries because they haven’t been taking care of their body while they were resting. They forget that when you’re injured, your resting metabolic rate is higher than it would otherwise be and your body needs that nutrition to heal properly.”

Accustomed to rigorous activity that burns many hundreds of calories daily, athletes hobbled by a broken ankle or strained knee ligament may think it wise to drastically cut calories to stay in shape.

Staying in shape is very important for an athlete, but staying in shape the right way by eating nutritious foods is more helpful than trying to stay in shape by cutting calories. Athletes who eat well prevent potential injuries in the future.

Food is the fuel that helps athletes perform their best,” according to information on Fisher Titus Medical Center’s website. “If you want to get the most out of your workouts and athletic capabilities, your diet should be a top priority in your fitness efforts.”

Nutritious foods, such as salmon and cruciferous vegetables are listed on the Fisher Titus website as containing nutrients healthy for hard-working athletes. Salmon contains protein and omega 3 acids. Cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach and kale, contain minerals, and vitamin A, K, and B6 which help the body repair itself and stay energized.

Dristen Canaday (9), who runs cross country and track, and plays tennis, said he eats nutritious meals every day.

“I always eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner no matter what, even the days I don’t have practice,” Canaday said.

Athletes who are injured or want to prevent injuries resort to strategies such as training harder or using fancy equipment, when the simplest way to consistently stay safe is by keeping a healthy diet.

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Preventing injuries by eating healthy