Diet makes a difference for athletes

College athletes are serious about two things in particular when not on the playing field; diet and exercise. At California Baptist University, athletes use these tools to stay healthy and boost their performance.

According to an article from world famous cyclist Lance Armstrong’s website, livestrong. com, it is important to plan your meals ahead of time so that you can maximize the amount of nutrients that will help you perform better.

“Eating the right balance of foods can help your body stay strong through long grueling games or athletic events,” Diane Lynn wrote in the article, “What Should an Athlete Do to Stay Fit & Healthy?”

College athletes have to balance time between games, practices, lifting weights and schoolwork, so it is important for them to have a healthy diet, which includes carbohydrates and proteins that them energy and healthy muscles.

Junior outfielder for men’s baseball, Luke Esquerra takes his health very seriously.

Lifting weights six times a week in the off-season and eating a healthy diet, Esquerra added a whopping 35 pounds to his 6’4” frame since his freshman year.

Esquerra is no stranger to CBU’s Alumni Dining Commons (ADC) and often sticks to a pattern of eating specific foods at particular meals.

“In the morning I really focus on eating a lot of carbs. At lunch and dinner I will focus on protein too. I stack up on vegetables at dinner time,” Esquerra said.

Using what he has learned from the classroom where he maintains an impressive 3.84 grade point average, Esquerra is able to put together healthy meals in the ADC, which increases his performance on the field.

“In the morning, I eat a lot of carbs and that’s from what I’ve

learned from my classes, being a kinesiology major. Carbs are obviously important, especially in the morning because they get your brain started,” Esquerra said.

During Esquerra’s freshman year with the Lancers, he sustained a shoulder injury that put him in the trainer’s room for rehabilitation. The exercises that he learned helped strengthen his shoulder and he continues to do so to prevent further injury.

“I’ve never stopped doing those and I haven’t had an arm injury since. Obviously with baseball you see that’s 95 percent of injuries,” Esquerra said.

In the pool at CBU, third-year swimmer Rachel Stoffel has a different approach to staying fit.

“In addition to typical weight lifting and running, I love to go to spin class. It really challenges my cardio limits and gives my legs the strong kick I need as a sprinter,” Stoffel said.

Stoffel participates in the 50 free, 100 free and 200 free events and has to maintain good cardio to keep up with the competition. In the weight room, the swimmers are pushed

hard to become faster in the water. “We do a lot of body weight exercises – anything that ranges from plyometrics to TRX training,” Stoffel said. “I really like running too. Cross training is really

important in swimming.”
It doesn’t stop with practice

and the weight room for Stoffel as she has particular foods that she avoids in order to stay fit and maintain energy.

Stoffel says that she does her best to avoid “empty calories.” This would include slushies from the caf, fried food, candy or any type of junk food in general.

“The important thing to remember is that the food you consume is the fuel for your body, so it is critical you choose wisely,” Stoffel said.

From food to fitness, athletes on campus are serious about maintaining healthy bodies so that they can be successful both on the field and in the classroom. Using the resources that are available to them, they find ways to develop healthy eating habits and discipline in their exercises that have helped them become successful athletes.

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