You’re sprinting back and forth across a soccer field, running a 5K through the woods, spiking a volleyball down the court, or swimming an endless cycle of laps. You’re sweating, it’s hot, adrenaline is pumping through your veins, you’re using every muscle in your body to keep on moving.
With the high demand that sports put on your body, it’s important to keep yourself properly nourished so that you can perform at your best each and every day – whether it’s game day, or you simply have a practice. With SAGE Dining’s new nutrition program for athletes, SAGE Dining and MacDuffie Athletics hope to make it easier for student athletes at MacDuffie to make sure they are taking care of their bodies properly through healthy, well-balanced meals and adequate hydration.
The new program is called Performance Spotlight and it focuses on healthy eating, specifically for athletes. One of the main goals of the program is to make sure that students are able to get the fuel they need to feel fully energized and ready to participate in their sports each and every day.
The program emphasizes having a balanced plate. This means that if you have practice, your plate should consists of ⅓ starches and grains, ⅓ protein,and ⅓ vegetables. However, if you have a game, then your plate should be filled with ¼ protein, ¼ vegetables, and ½ grains and starches.
According to Mr. Burdick, the manager of SAGE Dining Services at MacDuffie, this is because “grains and starches are going to give you more sustainable energy for gameday.”
The guidelines for the program come from the United States Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
So, where can you find these Performance Spotlight options? Each day at lunch, there are several options which are made specifically following the Performance Spotlight guidelines. These foods are indicated on the SAGE
menu with the Performance Spotlight symbol.
“We have at least three of these per meal, but usually a lot more, that we would recommend all athletes consume before practice or games,” says Burdick.
However, even if you are not an athlete, this program can still be helpful.
“Really we’re trying to educate athletes, but also all students. It’s open to everyone, even if you’re not particularly an athlete, you can still use this as a guide to eat healthily,” says Mr. Burdick.
Mr. Burdick also believes that the program has received a positive reaction from MacDuffie’s community.
“We’ve had really great feedback. I know athletics is a huge part of any school and I have had a lot of students actually come to me and tell me that they appreciate the fact that we’ve started this program and that it is going to be important to a lot of students. They were really impressed with the time and effort put into the program,” Burdick said.
So, whether you are preparing for an upcoming sporting event, fueling up for practice, or simply grabbing lunch, SAGE hopes that you can use the new Performance Spotlight program so that you can feel and perform your best both on and off the field.