When I first started my journey as an athlete, I never thought I would care what specifically was going into my body. Growing up, I was always fairly into “healthy” eating, and by this I mean getting some carbs in before a big game, eating fruit and vegetables throughout my day and drinking water; but truthfully I didn’t care too much about the specific ingredients, which makes sense for a teenage girl with a busy schedule! Transitioning into college athletics, things were definitely different. Aside from moving up to a more elite level of training, athletics at the University had a sports nutritionist and multiple refueling stations (a place to grab different snacks such as yogurt, fruit, protein shakes, etc.), ultimately providing athletes with a convenient way to fuel their bodies properly.
While this was BEYOND appreciated by all student-athletes at the University, I found myself struggling with a few different things. My senior year I shifted to a mostly plant-based diet, due to recurring digestive issues, minor eczema after eating certain foods, and ultimately in the hopes I’d find balance in my diet.
Following games our trainers and coaches emphasized the importance of refuelling our bodies post-game, and as a result we were instructed to grab a protein shake and a piece of fruit. The significance behind this is definitely apparent, however the negative effects it was having on me & my body were clear. Many teammates were also avoiding the protein shakes offered due to the stomach ache that followed. It came to the point where I felt I wasn’t getting the recovery fuel I wanted and needed, leading me to believe there could be a difference made…
Stay tuned for Part 2!