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Five Smart Tips for Staying Healthy as a Student-Athlete

Five Smart Tips for Staying Healthy as a Student-Athlete

Everyone wants to be a student-athlete, but that’s until you know about their many responsibilities. Student-athletes have to stay on top of their game: both academically and athletically. There is a lot of pressure as an athlete to stay healthy and fit, but it can be challenging with all the stress from schoolwork and practices.

Do you find it difficult to stay healthy while trying to balance your schoolwork and athletic commitments? If so, this blog post is for you.

Here are five tips that will help keep you healthy while still allowing you to excel as a student-athlete:

Eating Healthy

Eating healthy is important for everyone, but it can be especially challenging as a student-athlete. It may seem like there’s no time in your day to work out since you’re always at school or practice all day long. However, eating healthy and getting your daily exercise is important for keeping energy levels up.

It’s also crucial to eat enough food so you can maintain a healthy diet, especially if you’re an athlete. 

Athletes have to use more calories than normal people because they use more energy during their playtime or practice sessions.

But not all calories are created equal, which is why eating “cleanly” is the best way to go for student-athletes.

For instance, if a non-athlete requires 2,000 calories a day, an athlete might need 4,000 calories a day during rest days and 6,000 calories a day during game days. If you get your calories from a pizza or a burger, they will come with extra sugars, carbs, and fats.

Eating 6,000 calories of sugar and carbs will make you feel bloated and unable to perform. Getting your calories in a healthy way, such as through lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, will make you feel great and energized even after eating a lot.

Most universities’ athletic programs have a nutritional team to guide you and answer any questions about eating healthy. If you’re a picky eater or have any special food requests, make sure to spend some time consulting with them to let them know what your needs are.

Use Sunscreen

There are multiple priorities to juggle, and skin concerns aren’t often at the top of that list.

Everyone needs to use sunscreen. However, athletes are more at risk of sun damage because they spend a lot of time in the sun whether it’s during practice or games.

If athletes don’t use sunscreen when practicing or playing, then there’s a risk of getting sunburn. Using sunscreen regularly will help protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun and help you avoid unnecessary pain.

Most athletic departments provide free sunscreen to use before practices or games so make sure to use it if they do provide some.

It’s easy to forget that the skin is the largest organ we have in our body. Protecting your skin should be a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.

Drink Lots of Water

You might see the biggest athletes in the world on TV drinking out of Gatorade-branded cups and think that that is what everyone should be doing—especially student-athletes.

But here’s an open secret that few athletes acknowledge: more often than not, those Gatorade cups hold water in them. Drinking from those cups is simply a way to earn money as an athlete.

Sports drinks typically have a ton of unnecessary sugar in them, and they can make it more difficult for your body to hydrate efficiently.

If the best athletes out there drink water during their big games, we suggest that student-athletes do so, too. 

Get Plenty of Sleep

Since athletes use their bodies as their primary tool for achieving success, it’s essential to rest up after each day to prepare yourself for the next day’s activities.

One easy “hack” you can do if you’re having problems with sleeping is to use your bed solely for sleeping. When you spend most of your time in bed reading books, watching movies, or doing other activities, your brain starts to rewire itself and use the bed as a place of entertainment rather than sleep.

It can be really hard to break this habit, so be serious about committing to it once you start. With some time, you will have no trouble associating your bed with sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and rest your body before the big game.

Visit Your Doctor Regularly

Your athletic department will provide you with a healthcare team that can help you understand how keeping up with preventative care is crucial in maintaining health during your college years. This healthcare team is there to answer any questions you have about staying healthy or what preventative care means for your future.

It’s easy to forget that the body needs regular check-ups just like a car does, but it can be even more important because of all the use and abuse it takes during athletics at school. Visiting your doctor regularly will help make sure that you are staying healthy and on track for success in school, athletics, and life.

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