What fuels you?

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Written by: Liz Morris, Reporter

With obesity rising at an alarming rate, many schools like Basehor-Linwood have converted to healthier habits for their students to set patterns for the rest of their lives after high school and the sports teams they leave behind. Student-athletes are in a unique spot, as they must balance eating the right foods with eating enough food to keep them fueled for competition.
A football player loses more than 2,000 calories in a game. That means they have to eat over the recommended amount of calories to stay active and healthy. Why play football? Sophomore Nathan Kenton said, “It’s a fun sport and you get to hit people without getting in trouble for it.”
Cross Country is a sport completely centered on running. Runners must run five miles every day. That means they lose about 700 calories in a practice. Unlike football, if you eat too much before a meet you won’t run as fast as you normally would. Freshman Bevin Coon said, “Cross Country is so fun. It helps me stay in shape and meet new friends.”
The world’s game, soccer, is a complex sport that requires a unique type of athlete. Soccer players must have endurance and agility. It’s a team-oriented sport, where the only path to success is to rely on your teammates. In soccer you lose about 900 calories per game. Sophomore, Zach Ferguson said, “When I was a little kid I saw soccer on TV and it looked fun so I started to play it.”
Cheerleading is another sport with a totally different set of skills and abilities required. “When I was a freshman, my cousin asked me to try out with her. Then a day before tryouts her parents told her she couldn’t. So I went ahead and tried out and I have done it ever since,” senior Courtney June said. In many movies and TV shows, cheerleaders stereotypically don’t eat, but reality is different then that. Cheerleaders have to eat a lot other wise they will be drained at the game. But they don’t eat fast food before a game, they try to eat healthier foods. Junior Talia Armstrong said, “Subway gets us all going before a game because we’re not hungry and we’re not too full to where we’re lazy.”
So whether a student is participating in soccer, football, cross country, or cheerleading, they all have different nutritional needs. It is very important that they all follow their nutrition needs in order to grow physically and mentally, and to get better at their sport. Nutrition is important, but athletes have to be able to practice their skills and eat right in order to perform well in games and practices.

– Story by Liz Morris with contributions from Ali Patterson