Does the fuel we put in our bodies on a regular basis really have a bearing on our performance, ability to recover, our overall mood and quality of life?
The short answer of course is YES.
Some of my best friends eat, sleep and breathe the Crossfit lifestyle. They own their own gyms are strength coaches, fitness and health advocates and Games competitors. They are regimented in the ways they train, the way they sleep, mobilize, utilize periods of active rest and (maybe most noticeably to the layperson) the way they EAT. I can hear you guys already, “Good for them, we’re not Crossfitters.” Ok, point taken. But I think we should, nay NEED to take a page out of their book, specifically the nutrition page.
As baseball players we are paid specialists. We come in to face the lefty in the eighth inning out of the bullpen, we are catchers, we are base stealers and outstanding glovemen. Are we training or being paid to be the fittest or the most healthy?…NO. In fact the story goes that John Kruk, the hefty ’90s All-Star first basemen was having a cigarrette once, when a woman recognized him and asked how he could smoke and be a professional athlete. To which Kruk replied, “I ain’t an athlete, lady, I’m a balllplayer.”
After all “I’m not trying to be the best at exercise.”-Kenny Powers
There are a number of players at the Major and Minor League levels that are able to perform and perform well despite being overweight. Ok. My argument is that we will be happy, healthier, more durable and have increased quality of life and longevity if we make our nutrition a priority.
It’s a dynamic that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Here is the dichotomy that exists in professional baseball; as athletes, specialists as we may be, we are paid because of our bodies and their ability to perform on a daily basis and yet a minor league spread typically has nothing of worth. That’s right, no quality fuel for the rig. Feature items include but are not limited to: PB&J, chips, fruit snacks (gushers), deli meats, pop-tarts, chocolate milk, fruit-rollups, frozen burgers and soup. Now, there is a budget folks. I’m not calling for grass-fed NY strips, grilled asparagus and fresh avocado after batting practice. What I am saying is its not OK to use what they provide for us as a cop out.
“Its what they put out for us!”…”what else am I supposed to eat?”…”I didn’t have time”…”noise, noise, the food here is ____.”
None of us are perfect and options seem to be limited especially on the road. Prepare food in advance, shop at Whole Foods, farmer’s markets and places like them. Let’s make better decisions and plan around eating REAL food.
In a sentence, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” (crossfit.com)
The Cup Check…protect the goods.