Staples Athletes’ Diets: Winning Begins At The Dinner Table

Staples Athletes Diets: Winning Begins At The Dinner Table

High school athletes will do whatever it takes to get an edge. Athletes know that, if they work hard enough, games can be won off the field—whether it’s in the weight room, on the treadmill, or even at the dinner table.

Dozens of Staples competitors consistently follow strict eating habits from when they wake up until they crash onto their bed after practice. In order to gain strength, speed, and endurance, they keep up crazy diets all year long. Work ethic like this shows how desperately some students want to play sports in college, but moreover shows just how much they want to stay in shape.

As boys’ soccer coach Dan Woog loves to say about his players, “They train very hard to be the best that they can be.”

To most, that means eating right all the time.


“Two or three eggs and a banana every morning,” Robbie Wolf ’12 said, “never cereal.” Breakfast is the kicker to a strong diet, especially for a linebacker, kicker, and running back like Wolf.

Just like Wolf, girls’ swim tri-captain Gabby Weimer ’12, prefers a banana, as well. But for Jake Malowitz ’12, co-captain of the boys’ soccer team, “something substantial, like two or three bagels” is the breakfast of choice. The carbohydrates that Malowitz receives from his bagels are also strong sources of energy, something Malowitz knows is important during the 80 minutes of his soccer games.

Eggs are another one of the healthier breakfast foods, generating around 12.6 grams of protein per one hard-boiled egg. Protein is the centerpiece to Wolf’s diet, as well as lineman Pieter Hoets ’13, who also eats 5 meals a day, “to keep [himself] running.”


Hoets has, “a high protein diet to maintain strength and weight during the season.” To maintain that strength and weight, he likes to indulge in buffalo steaks and guzzle down muscle milk.

Linebacker Austin Lazar ’12 also thrives on protein. “Steak, broccoli, spinach. I do it big,” brags Lazar.

Malowitz on the other hand prefers chicken. But regardless of specific selection, one thing’s for certain: they all have a tremendous amount of protein.

But what’s so vital about protein? Muscle growth. With four days a week (at least) of weight lifting for the football team in the offseason to go along with in-season training, the players want to maximize their strength at all times.

“Protein is needed to balance out blood sugar,” says in-town nutritionist Karen Laramie ’77.Laramiesays that she doesn’t believe in stimulants, so amino acid drops, such as carnitine—made up of several amino acids—are one of her preferred methods of obtaining protein.

Another popular choice is the power bar. Defensive lineman Andrew Pfefferle ’12 always has a power bar before practice. Lazar is also a fan of power bars, which typically contain more than 20 grams of protein in each bar.

Of course, after a protein bar, thirst quenching is key. However, the proper way to hydrate is often scrutinized.


Every team at every level is always trying to figure out the best way to stay hydrated. Woog makes it a team policy to “drink water, never Gatorade.”

Caroline Koenig ’14, a member of the girls’ track team, is in concurrence with Woog, hydrating only by water—and lots of it.

However, is there a drink that solves the hydration issue while still providing an energy burst?

Head Football Coach Marce Petroccio has seemingly found the solution.

“We are one of only a few high schools to have it,” he proudly notes.

It is called UCAN, and is utilized by NFL teams like the New England Patriots, world-class track stars, and American tennis player Mardy Fish. It stabilizes blood sugar, doesn’t have a crash, and maintains a high and steady energy level throughout activity.

But, from athlete to athlete, hydration depends on personal preference.

Malowitz, however, does indeed reflects his coach’s views, as he likes to drink water on whatever day he has a game, and even the night before. “Throughout the whole night I am constantly drinking water and water only.”


Some players take their own initiative when it comes to gathering carbohydrates, but for others they rely on the infamous pasta dinners that so many teams hold.

Pasta is a strong way to go for obtaining carbs, which play a huge role in energy storage and glucose transmission.

That is why Petroccio organizes pasta dinners the night before games.

“We are very tuned in to all this nutritional stuff,” Petroccio said. “We teach the guys how to eat right.”

And in the department of eating right for football players, carbohydrates are paramount.

“I carb it up the night before a game,” Pfefferle, who hauls in close to 50 grams of carbohydrates in some meals, says. Many of these can come from one plate of pasta, which Wolf will also typically eat three hours before a game.

Still, in some cases, they got a little help from their mothers.

“There’s nothing better than my mom’s home cooked meals,” Lazar said.

However, Laramie warns athletes about what she calls “carb-loading.”

“To deprive your body of carbs or calories, then carb-load? That’s very hard on the body,”Laramiesaid.

Laramiealso recommends whole-grain foods to build carbs. But this recommendation comes with a disclaimer.

“If you’re not used to whole grain, the last meal before a race or event is not a good time to start a new habit,” Laramie said.

Now that the players have all trained hard throughout the week and gulped down a big dinner, they are ready for their respective competitions.

Game Day

It’s half an hour before game time at Staples Stadium. The bleachers are packed, speeches are being given in the locker room, and most importantly, the FCIAC could be on the line.

Before the players suit up and head out to the field, there’s one last piece of nutrition, a fruit, that almost every player wants to make sure they have: the common yellow banana.

It’s difficult to get more natural than a banana, something Petroccio has shown is important to him.  30 minutes after that banana, all the hard work, on and off the field, is about to be showcased.


For such strict diets and such utter dedication, a lot of restraint must be shown. Wolf listens to his coaches, and abstains from fried food and junk food, except for the occasional weekend trip to McDonald’s.

Although it seems simple, it is unassumingly hard work. Players need to learn their body types, like their metabolism rate, and even have to know how they process certain food groups.

“I follow this diet strictly every game day,” Malowitz said.

And once an athlete starts a diet, there are very few times where it’s a good idea to switch it.

“A good time to introduce different nutritional food to a diet is during the offseason, when you’re training,”Laramie said.

But for now, the athletes will stick to the habits they’ve chosen—some delving into their power bars and protein shakes, while others feast on steak, broccoli, and spinach—like Lazar.

“I eat,” Lazar said. “But I eat healthy.”