How Athletes Maintain a Healthy Diet


Renee Yang

A healthy diet is important for NYU athletes to optimize their performance. To avoid spending time and money on off-campus food, dining halls can provide nutritious meals as well.

Maddie Howard , Staff Writer

One of the most exciting parts of living in New York City as a college student is the food. No matter what part of the city you are in, there are hundreds of restaurants in the vicinity that offer delicious meals. However, having so many options make sit difficult to stay on one’s meal plan, while also make it difficult to stay healthy.

Maintaining a healthy diet is especially important for the NYU athletic community members. Given their rigorous schedule of games, practices and lifts during the season, eating the best food possible allows them to optimize their sports performance.

Freshman track and field team member Evelyn Nkanga explained the importance of consuming the right foods before an athletic competition.

“Eating healthy is important for running, because fatty or greasy foods definitely weigh you down and force your body to do more work,” Nkanga said. “Healthy foods also give you the energy to perform better in your sport.”

Many athletes spend much of their time practicing and training at the Palladium Athletic Facility, where they also have access to the building’s dining hall. While dining halls don’t have a reputation for always providing the healthiest options, the athletic community praises NYU for giving students a wide selection of choices, both healthy and unhealthy.

Senior and former women’s soccer team member Cassie Sternberg shared her opinions on NYU’s food offerings.

“It is definitely possible to be healthy on the NYU meal plan,” Steinberg said. “Our dining halls offer such a huge variety of options. The hard part is having to choose one Lipton cookie rather than four. But the dining halls definitely do offer everything an athlete needs to properly fuel. It is just about making informed and healthful choices.”

These healthier options can especially be seen in Palladium, where the dining hall offers a piece of fruit or a small salad with a meal.

Freshman softball player Callie Sacaccio thinks the dining halls do a pretty good job but she wouldn’t mind some more fresh poultry and produce.

“Overall the dining halls have some pretty good options,” Sacaccio said. “The one thing I really think they’re missing out on is a better variety of fresh fruit. Definitely that, and sometimes the chicken portions aren’t super substantial.”

Ultimately, maintaining a diet that helps one both prepare for and recover from competitions is essential to the NYU athlete’s physical process. Living in New York provides many options for food, but dining halls also give student-athletes access to high quality meals, allowing them to eat nutritious foods and lessening the temptation to go off campus for food, which only adds time to their busy schedules.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 27 print edition. 

Email Maddie Howard at [email protected]