When calories attack

For student-athletes at Portland State, life often revolves around doing what’s best for their respected teams.

For student-athletes at Portland State, life often revolves around doing what’s best for their respected teams.

This requires long days of practice, training and the often under-mentioned aspect of keeping up with a full load of class work.

With so much to do each day, an athlete’s nutritional choices are essential to maintaining a solid performance in the competitive field and the health needed to perform all the tasks called upon. 

The training staff at Portland State—a dedicated group of just a few individuals—work year around collaborating with individual players and coaching staffs to provide healthy eating options and other forms of health counseling.

Assistant athletic trainer Jonathan Huwe said that most of the nutritional counseling is done on a one-on-one basis with the athlete with occasional input from the various coaching staffs.

For nutritional counseling, Huwe sets up an extensive plan in order to keep the athletes food consumption both healthy and consistent.

“I require that the athlete keep a nutritional journal for five days, recording all food and drink,” Huwe said. “We then sit down and calculate their daily need for calories based on their current intake, activity level and nutritional goals.”

Huwe, who has worked with the softball, women’s basketball and volleyball teams during his time at Portland State, said he provides the student-athlete with a sample menu that provides the recommended daily intake of calories.

The training staff also sets up some initial guidelines encouraging them to stay away from caffeine, fried foods and food items that are higher in sugar or fat.

On a campus with many restaurants within walking distance—along with the always pressing concern that athletes, like other students, are concerned about how much money to spend—fast food becomes an easy and accessible food option.

Freshman Jacob Baldwin, an offensive lineman on the football team, sticks to his pregame meal of biscuits with gravy, bacon and a glass of apple juice.

“I don’t stick to a meal plan,” Baldwin said, referring to his plan laid out by the training staff. “But I try to stay active, like playing basketball with my friends.”

The different body shapes across the various sports make Huwe’s job an interesting one as menus and calorie counts have to be varied for the wide array of student athletes on campus.

“I have seen good habits from offensive linemen in football and horrible habits from a woman