permission to print image: Gale
All throughout an athlete’s career, they need to stay healthy, not only in the weight room, but in their diets as well. Having proper nutrition is key to succeed in sports at any level.
Athletes like Tom Brady, who is still playing football at 43 years old, need to have the proper foods in order to perform at the highest level. Brady has done this by creating his own meal plan called TB12, and he promotes it all over the world.
“Having a meal plan is important for sports because you know what your body likes before a game or on an off day,” sophomore basketball player Jadia Kershaw said.
Brady drinks about 25 cups of water per day whereas a high school athlete may drink about 10. Every athlete’s diet varies in all aspects whether it is about how many vegetables, fruits or carbs an athlete eats. Brady’s diet consists of no dairy, processed foods, coffee or gluten.
“Tom Brady is a cyborg! He has perfected his diet to maximize his performance. He has designed a method called the TB12 Method. It consists of cleans foods that do not cause inflammation in the body,” strength coach Jason Mckendrick said.
Lebron James is another example of an older athlete at 36 years old, and he is playing at an extremely high level. However, James’s diet is very different from Brady’s.
“‘Ask him what he eats for breakfast. He has like five French toast, drowns it in syrup with strawberries and bananas. Then, he has like a four-egg omelet, and then he just goes and just dunks on somebody,’” James’s former teammate Tristan Thompson said in an interview with ManOfMany.
However, James doesn’t always eat in big bulks, he changes what he eats based on if it’s game day or a day off. He has found what foods work for him before games and that helps assure that his body will be ready to play.
“‘Before competition for me would be like a chicken breast and maybe a little pasta. The carbs help because you’re going out and playing a lot of minutes. But a salad and some veggies will have me perfectly fine. And before the game I might have a protein shake and some fruit, and I’ll be ready to go,’” James said in an interview with ManOfMany.
Having go-to-foods and a planned diet is just as important for younger athletes, too. Young athletes have more energy and are less prone to injury than adults, so a planned meal course can help young athletes excel, even with some dessert.
“Athletes have higher demands for protein and carbs than the normal non-athlete student. They must organize their meals to ensure that they are getting enough proper nutrition in their body. Proper sleep is also vital for optimum performance!” Mckendrick said.
No matter what age or what sport an athlete is involved in, a planned diet with lots of water and certain go-to meals will help athletes perform better and stay in shape.