Inside the diets of Hamline’s athletes

Inside the diets of Hamline’s athletes

Athletes at Hamline University come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Whether it be a fit track star or a big and beefy offensive lineman, these athletes all require lots of energy in order to perform at their highest level.
For athletes in-season, making sure they get the necessary energy from food is essential to their performance. Take senior Maitland Luksan for example. Luksan, a women’s lacrosse star who currently leads the Pipers in both goals and total points, believes that proper food helps her to, “stay fueled and full.”
Being an in-season athlete, carbohydrate-loading is a great way to stay on top of one’s nutrition, which gives her, “enough energy for practice and throughout the day to get my work done,” Luksan said.
Juggling six days of lacrosse activity per week along with her schooling and eating habits sometimes restricts the quality and quantity of what she can put in her body.
“The main challenges I face with nutrition are finding time to eat good food. […] It’s hard to find time to sit down and eat, not just food, but healthy food,” Luksan said.“I find myself eating frozen meals a lot just because they’re easy and don’t take much time. I also go to the campus dining hall quite a bit for lunch during the day, so I don’t have to go home, make food, and cut out an hour or more just to make something and eat it, especially during the season. I need to use that time to do homework or get ready for practice. It really is just a balancing act of meal prepping and finding stuff to eat that maybe isn’t the best, but works to keep me fueled.”
Although being in the off-season is not as demanding time-wise as in-season, it still plays a crucial role in the growth and development of HU athletes. Thus, eating right while not in season is a large key piece in a successful off-season.
Athletes like Andy Converse, a first year offensive lineman for the Piper football team, operate on high protein diets.
“A typical week of eating in my offseason tends to have fewer carbs but the same high protein I would normally consume,” Converse said. One way Converse keeps up with his high protein intake is by consuming one gram of protein per pound he weighs.
“As an offensive lineman, that isn’t easy. However, once I figured out how to eat north of 250 grams a day, my gains in the weight room and on the field improved greatly. Usually, I have just breakfast, lunch, a protein shake, and dinner in a day,” Converse said. “Sometimes, I’ll work in a snack as well, such as string cheese, Clif bars, protein bars, fruits, or vegetables.”
Annabel Mehta, a first year forward for the women’s hockey team, is another off-season advocate for eating well. “Nutrition plays a huge role in making my offseason as successful as possible,” Mehta said. “I try to get my recommended amount of protein after I workout to reverse damage, build muscle, and get ready for the next workout. I feel by doing this, I am able to get stronger every workout.”
Mehta is able to incorporate three daily meals consisting of high protein foods like chicken alfredo, chicken and rice, and steak.
The combination of high protein foods and healthy eating habits will help her to reach her goals of, “being more physical on the ice. I also want to gain more leg muscle to have a more powerful and faster stride,” Mehta said.
Whether it is the everyday grind of the college sports season or juggling off-season training with school work, incorporating healthy eating habits is one of the most difficult but essential keys to the success of any college athlete.

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