The Collegian
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

How Campus Dining Helps UR Athletes Krush Their Competition

The University of Richmond prides itself on maintaining state-of-the-art nutritional food options on campus, as well as a strong community of talented Division I athletes. In order for these athletes to reach their peak performance and remain healthy throughout their seasons, it is essential for them to have multiple dining options and endless availability to fuel their tanks and set them up for success. Because inadequate nutrition can lead to injuries, illnesses and poor performance, this is a number one priority for UR, and one they have executed well. 

A staple in many student-athlete’s routines is eating at the Heilman Dining Center. Recently renovated with a sleek design, all-you-can-eat options, the staples of the salad and pasta bar and attractive desserts rotating daily, it only makes sense for athletes to come here. A tip from athletes is to check the menu first to know what they will be serving as the main meal and to keep an eye out for when the Mediterranean bowl is available. 

“I think the dining hall is the best place to eat on campus as an athlete because of portion size and options,” senior Tanner Crochet, a member of the men’s cross country team, said. “For each meal I am able to get carbs, protein, fat, fruits and vegetables.”

In addition to the dining hall, many athletes have enjoyed the recent establishment of Organic Krush in the Well-Being Center, coveted for its healthy yet delicious options and aesthetic atmosphere. Athletes agree that this has been a large improvement for UR. 

“The addition of [Organic] Krush in the Well-Being center has made it easier to eat healthy. I like to get avocado toast with eggs, fresh fruit with yogurt, or make-your-own bowl,” senior Arden Tierney, a member of the women’s lacrosse team, said. 

Tierney feels lucky and grateful that UR provides many healthy food options, she said. 

Although the dining options on campus bring lots of variety, many athletes believe the food provided at their fueling stations in the athletic facility building could be improved for efficiency and convenience when moving quickly between practices, workouts and class. 

“I think having more grab-and-go options at the fueling station would be nice, since sometimes we don’t have time to get to the other food options,” junior Garrett Clark, a member of the men’s golf team, said. 

Additionally, he said the food items at on-campus dining locations are very expensive, and they run out of dining dollars quickly. 

Clark and his teammates run out of dining dollars every semester, and it really limits their options, he said. 

UR has two registered dietitians on campus who also work closely with the athletes to ensure they are educated on how to properly nourish themselves. Karen Hensley, a registered dietician and certified specialist in sports dietetics, has been a critical mentor for athletes, helping them prioritize their health and well-being. 

“I meet with students for one-on-one appointments, do nutrition talks, and am in the fueling station once a week to answer any nutrition related questions” she said. 

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The health and nutrition of a student-athlete is a partnership between the student, the Athletics Department and Dining Services to ensure student-athletes can follow a nutritional plan that allows them to perform to their full potential, Hensley said.

Food and nutrition is essential for all students to have a successful college experience and healthy lifestyle, but it is especially important for athletes who practice at least twice a day, burning calories and working their muscles to exhaustion each and every week. Overall, UR’s food services have met this challenge of providing athletes with the proper nutrition necessary, however there are specific elements that could be improved. 

Catch these students at their next game or match, go Spiders! 

Contact lifestyle writer Julia Borger at julia.borger@richmond.edu

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