Protein Requirements for Athletes

Protein pic


A former award-winning varsity athlete, Cody Saltsman now focuses on rebuilding his strength after surgery. Cody Saltsman attends carefully to his diet and ensures that he takes in enough protein to fuel his body.

According to a review that appears in the Journal of Sports Medicine, athletes need more protein than the amount recommended for the average individual. An athlete’s body relies on protein to rebuild muscle and connective tissue, which a key process particularly for those seeking to increase muscle mass. Athletes also require sufficient amounts of protein to partially fulfill energy requirements during exercise, to keep the immune system working efficiently, and to bring vital nutrients to the cells. Furthermore, proteins are essential in the potassium and sodium transport process that balances electrolyte levels.

To keep all of these functions running optimally, athletes need to maintain a protein intake level commensurate with their levels of activity and strain on the muscles. Experts suggest 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for athletes in light to moderate endurance training and slightly less for those with a purely recreational workout schedule. Athletes who participate in power sports and endurance training need a bit more, while resistance athletes in early stages of training generally require the most protein to compensate for wear on the muscles.


Carbohydrates and the Athlete

Carbohydrates and the Athlete pic

Carbohydrates and the Athlete

As a student athlete at Steubenville High School, Cody Saltsman won a number of awards and received media attention in his hometown newspaper. Now focused on rebuilding his performance after surgery, Cody Saltsman concentrates on rebuilding his body through diet and exercise.

Carbohydrates stand out as a key element of any athlete’s diet. According to the United States Olympic Committee, low levels of carbohydrates can reduce an athlete’s performance level and lead to premature fatigue, whereas the building of carbohydrate stores has been proven to increase performance. This correlation stems from the vital role that carbohydrates play in providing energy to muscle cells during exercise.

When the body takes in carbohydrates, the digestive system converts them into glucose. The circulatory system then sends that glucose throughout the body to fuel cell processes, and the leftover glucose travels to the muscle and liver cells for transformation into glycogen. During exercise, the body converts glycogen back into glucose to provide muscles with energy.

The harder an athlete trains, therefore, the more carbohydrates he or she needs. The body can only store between 300 and 400 grams of glycogen at any given time, so a regular intake of carbohydrates is crucial. Experts recommend consuming extra carbohydrates in preparation for lengthy workout sessions to build glycogen, while also striving for an intake of approximately 30 to 60 grams per hour during an extended training session or competition.

New Orleans Saints Give Back for Thanksgiving

New Orleans Saints pic

New Orleans Saints

An accomplished student and athlete, Cody Saltsman maintained a position on the Steubenville High School football and baseball teams in addition to his studies. In his free time, Cody Saltsman enjoys watching NFL games, particularly those of his favorite team, the New Orleans Saints.

The New Orleans Saints recently took the opportunity to give back to their local community during their annual Thanksgiving Turkey Day Giveaway. Every year, the team provides the funds needed to supply holiday meals to families in need. On November 24, 2015, several members of the Saints made an appearance at Central City’s Dryades YMCA to hand out more than 1,000 donated turkeys and other Thanksgiving foods from Winn-Dixie grocery stores.

A crowd of fans eagerly greeted the players as they entered the facility, quickly lining up to receive their meals from teammates including wide receiver Willie Snead, running back CJ Spiller, and linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha. In addition to handing out the food, the players posed for photo opportunities with attendees. Snead, who marked his first charity appearance at the giveaway, expressed his excitement at being able to thank local residents for their support while also showing that the Saints care about them.

Essential Nutrients for Athletes

Essential Nutrients for Athletes pic

Essential Nutrients for Athletes

An accomplished student athlete and aspiring physical therapist, Cody Saltsman played outside linebacker and wide receiver for the varsity football team at Steubenville High School in Ohio. Having since undergone surgery, Cody Saltsman now focuses on conditioning and proper nutrition.

Suitable intake of vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet is important to keep athletes’ bodies running smoothly and efficiently. Low energy levels may be a sign of a deficiency in B vitamins, such as B6 and B12. Riboflavin, thiamin, and folate also fall into this category and are key in converting sugar and protein into the energy that athletes need.

Similarly, a vitamin D deficiency can interfere with muscles’ ability to rebuild energy after contracting. This can lead to premature fatigue, which in turn impacts performance. Insufficient iron and zinc levels also contribute to low energy levels, while adequate magnesium intake is key to efficient energy metabolism.

In addition to maintaining energy, proper nutrition also plays a pivotal role in muscle recovery and injury prevention. Potassium helps to balance hydration levels in the body and interacts with sodium to promote healthy muscle function. Finally, calcium is crucial in protecting an athlete’s bones and helping athletes avoid stress fractures, particularly those involved in high-impact sports.

Vitamins and Minerals for Football Players

As a student at Steubenville High School, Cody Saltsman earned a number of awards for his accomplishments as a varsity football player. Cody Saltsman attends carefully to his diet and takes a number of vitamin supplements to help him play at the highest possible level.

Although football players need the same vitamins and minerals in their diets as any other person, the intense demands of the game mean that several compounds are particularly essential. Vitamin D deficiencies may put a player at risk of muscle injury, according to a study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The study showed a distinct correlation between time lost due to injury and vitamin D levels in the deficient range of below 20 nanograms per millileter.

Similarly, the University of Montana has determined that sufficient levels of calcium help football players lower their risk of stress fractures. Adequate calcium levels also help a player’s muscles to flex and relax while iron helps the blood to transport oxygen to the muscles that need it. Vitamin C can help muscles recover after a workout, and vitamin E keeps the body’s cells healthier overall by reducing oxidation.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees

A student athlete, Cody Saltsman has played varsity football throughout his years at Steubenville High School. When not playing, Cody Saltsman has enjoyed following the games of the New Orleans Saints and his favorite player, Drew Brees.

A leading quarterback in the National Football League (NFL), Drew Brees has had an impressive career and won numerous accolades since he started playing for the New Orleans Saints in 2006. He played college football at Purdue University before entering the NFL draft in 2001. Selected by the San Diego Chargers as the first pick in the second round, Brees stayed with the Chargers for five years and played well.

However, his most notable career highlights, which include being named Offensive Player of the Year and the league’s Most Valuable Player, has been with the Saints. The quarterback led the team to victory during Super Bowl XLIV and is only the second player to achieve more than 4,000 passing yards in eight consecutive seasons. While quarterbacking for the Saints, Drew Brees has exceeded 38,700 total passing yards and made 3,356 completions, of which 283 were touchdowns. He currently holds a win-loss record of 80-47 during the regular season and 6-4 in the postseason.