North Texas Daily

Students and student athletes are similar in their dietary habits

Students and student athletes are similar in their dietary habits

March 20
22:41 2013

Caitlyn Alvarado / Staff Writer

Most parents constantly remind their children to always eat their fruits and vegetables. Likewise, UNT coaches often remind their athletes to do the same.

The Mean Green track and field team meets with its own nutritionist every week to give the runners tips on how to diet correctly. The team also takes supplements – including iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin C – after every practice.

The average college female track runner runs about 40 to 50 miles a week. Mid-distance sophomore Rachel Lusk said she runs about 45 miles a week, but that some of the male track runners could even double that.

She said a flexible diet, is important to her running.

“I don’t have a strict diet but I try to be good,” Lusk said. “But you can’t run 40 to 80 miles a week just off junk food. You just can’t.”

While Lusk is running on the track, senior tennis captain Barbora Vykydalova is running on a court. Vykydalova said the team is really good about eating right and staying fit.

“I try to eat everything in moderation and be smart about what I take in,” Vykydalova said. “Our coach always says, ‘our body is like a car and what you put into affects how it runs. So if you put in bad gas it won’t work correctly,’ same with food.”

College is usually a time when students put on the “freshmen fifteen” and UNT athletes are fighting the same fight against fast food and late night munching. Soccer sophomores Marissa Pantoja and Kelsey Petty said they know this all too well.

“Last year Marissa and I would go to the ‘Kerrfateria’ at 2 a.m. almost every morning and eat ice cream or get a burger or something,” Petty said. “Living off campus we eat healthier because we have to cook for ourselves. We try and balance it out – when we do eat bad we also work harder and run more.”

The soccer team runs at least twice a week and practices every other day while the tennis and track team get their conditioning in every day at practice. Just like these athletes, UNT students are breaking a sweat at the recreation center or running through campus.

“Those who strive for a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis are no different than the athletes here at UNT,” Lusk said. “I see people running all the time around campus and admire them for their dedication. Nutrition is just as important for them as it is for us.”

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