Nutrition and Eating Habits

As a college coach one of the things I have a hard time with is my athlete’s eating habits. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked my athletes when the last time they ate was and they say the day before, and we are in the middle of practice the next day! I encourage my athletes to try to eat a decent breakfast and HYDRATE and try to have a snack before lunch. For a large part of the year the heat combed with a high workload can be tough to manage so if the athletes are not properly fueled practice will be a nightmare.

When I was an athlete both in college and professionally I did well with oatmeal in the morning. I could keep it down and not feel bubbly before practice like I might with milk or yogurt. I always recommend that you have your athlete, or you on their behalf, consult a nutritionist if possible. You can read up on as much information as possible yourself so you do not go in blind and give bad advice but be warned there is also a ton of BAD information on the internet that could be detrimental. I consulted a professional, which I would highly recommend. Someone with real knowledge of what they are doing and how the body fuels itself can help you take your athleticism to a whole different level.

When I was training I was different in that I had to manage a lean body mass as a long sprinter while not gaining weight, and running at a high intensity. I was nervous about different advise I was getting because I was feeling drained and had a big issue with cramping. Dealing with all of that and being in the extreme heat of Florida a high fat and high protein diet was what I needed to go with and meals were scheduled accordingly. THIS IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE. Your bodies are all different. Make sure you are not getting a cookie cutter program that was given to a group! It should be individualized!

Work with someone who cares and is not out to just give advice and get a check, which you can run in to. There are many people who claim to know what they are talking about, at local gyms, schools, even, coaches etc. Be cautious! Do your research even though it may be time consuming. If you can build a relationship with someone you can trust, especially if you are a professional athlete, your coach, your body, and your career will thank you!

About the Author

Clayton Parros, USA Track

Clayton Parros was born in Los Angeles California, and raised in New Jersey. As a part of The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Track and field Program he was named ACC Champion 5 times, All-ACC 11 times, and was also an all American. Post Collegiately he achieved World Champion status as a part of the team USA 4x400m relay, Penn relays Champion, IAAF World Relay Champion, NACAC 4x400m Champion and USA Indoor 300m Runner up. Clayton is USATF Coaching Certified and has studied and trained under world-class coaches namely Derrick White (coach of Joanna Atkins and Quinera Hayes), Lance Brauman (coach of Tyson Gay, Marvin Bracy, Tori Bowie, Shaunae Miller and many others). He also studied strength and conditioning under Andre Woodert (former strength and conditioning coach of Allyson Felix). Currently he is in his first year of coaching at East Carolina University and is involved with the Sprints and Hurdles.