Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Diets of Whittie Athletes

Infographic by Marlee Raible
Infographic by Marlee Raible

While most athletes understand the importance of a balanced diet, some athletes are still able to perform at a high level while consuming junk food.

In the early part of his NBA career, superstar Derrick Rose’s incredible performances were fueled with a steady diet of candy, particularly Skittles. After getting a stomach ulcer from eating too much sugar, Rose has since hired a personal chef and is now making serious efforts to improve his diet.

Nevertheless, the case of Derrick Rose shows that there are rare athletes who are able to compete at a high level while fueling their bodies with fatty, sugary foods. The Pioneer polled 114 athletes at Whitman to find out where the majority of them lie on the spectrum of conventional, healthy eating and the unusual success of athletes who survive on an unhealthy diet.

In the poll, Whitman athletes showed their belief in a home-cooked meal with almost 70 percent believing they eat better at home than on the road. Senior basketball player LuQuam Thompson disagrees with the majority of Whitman athletes because of the stricter eating guidelines that are forced upon him on the road.

“On the road our coaches make us eat pasta. At home, I eat what I’m feeling. I may be feeling pizza, a burger, a sandwich. Depends on the day,” said Thompson.

While Thompson has found a way to become a successful athlete without consistently consuming healthy food, other Whitman athletes swear by a strict eating regimen.

Senior baseball player Chris Andrews undoubtedly considers himself one of the 43 percent of Whitman athletes who identify themselves as “healthy” when asked how they would describe their eating habits.

To start the day, Andrews consumes hot cereal, eggs and milk. For lunch, he eats vegetables and either a turkey or chicken sandwich, and rounds out the day with a dinner that is more of a complete meal that includes vegetables, fruit and some form of meat. While hitting all the food groups is the most important factor according to Andrews, variety within those food groups is of the utmost importance as well.

Andrews believes that his passion for eating right came from his high school coach.

“My coach described eating as one more piece in fighting for that extra advantage. If you’re willing to stay after practice and do extra reps, then why set yourself back with your diet?” said Andrews.

An overwhelming 96 percent of Whitman athletes agree with the commonly held belief that proper diet can increase athletic performance. While most sports burn a high amount of calories and require the replenishment of nutrients, there are some sports that are less physically tolling.

Golf, for example, is known more for the mental challenges that it poses to players rather than its physical requirements.

Junior women’s golfer Catelyn Webber explained that she maintains a balanced diet throughout the year, regardless of whether she is in season or out of season.

“I feel like because I am a golfer I don’t burn a lot of extra calories,” said Weber.

Since 54 percent of Whitman athletes answered “semi-healthy” when asked how they would describe their eating habits, most Whitman athletes showed that they have a basic understanding of the benefits of eating right, but also admit to enjoying themselves once in a while from a dietary standpoint.

Whitman hosts a wide range of athletes who pour themselves into their sports, but physical exercise is only part of the game. Properly fueling their bodies is something athletes are certainly aware of, though many take different approaches.

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