What Is the Normal Calorie Intake Needed for an Athletic Individual Discussion Griffin is proud of his accomplishments as a college football player. “I’ve

What Is the Normal Calorie Intake Needed for an Athletic Individual Discussion Griffin is proud of his accomplishments as a college football player.

“I’ve worked for a long time to make it this far. I did all the hard work. In addition to training hard with my team when I was in high school, spending my summers at football camp, and working out in general in the weight room, I also kept my grades up and look what it got me—a college scholarship! Next step? The NFL!”

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However, college football is also taking its toll.

“I’m up at 7 every morning, bacon and eggs and biscuits and gravy and a big glass of orange juice for breakfast, followed by morning classes. Then I lift weights and practice all afternoon, eat two foot-long subs, one for my first lunch, and one for my second lunch, ending with a study hall just for the team.”

When asked if he varies his menu, Griffin tilts his head and wrinkles his nose, looking up at the ceiling. “Well, breakfast varies, depending on whether they’ve got waffles or not. I like a stack of waffles; but lunch is generally the same. Sometimes I add chips or a big cookie. Dinner’s always different. Last night I had spaghetti.”

Griffin faced some challenges last season, including a knee injury.

“But that’s all done with now. My knee is fine. The coach lectured me about something called ‘stress fractures,’” he says, “but nothing has happened. He didn’t have to worry about me.”

The nutritionist’s nurse asks the big question: What brings Griffin here today?

“Playing college football has been a big shock,” Griffin says. “I push myself harder than I have ever done in my life. My body’s just under a lot of stress. I mean, in high school, you’re player number one. You get drafted to a good college team, though, and boy, you find you’re struggling not to be on the bottom. Here, everyone was the best player in his high school. So pressure and competition and training are extra tough.”

“Eating is different too. At home, my mom let me eat what I wanted when I wanted, as long as I took my turn doing the dishes,” he laughs. “But here, some of our senior teammates have been teaching us how to load carbs. Recently some weird stuff has been happening to me, so my coach said I should talk to a dietitian.”

“We eat a lot,” Griffin says, “so we can bulk up; but recently, I’ve been kind of worried that I was going to get fat. My mom saw how much more I was eating and said, ‘Honey, be careful. You don’t want to get fat. What happens if you ever stop working out?’ That made sense to me. So I kept up the high carb intake but reduced my daily intake to 1600 kcal to avoid looking fat. I want to look bulked up, yeah, but not fat, for NFL recruiters. Coach got on me last time I did that, so this time I just didn’t tell him. I do all right. It’s not like I’m starving myself. This week, though, I got weak and kind of, I don’t know, I didn’t have any energy. How many calories is enough, and what’s too much?” How would you answer Griffin?
Griffin mentions that some senior teammates are teaching the newer players how to “load carbs.” What advice might you give Griffin about this practice? How many carbs are good for players such as Griffin?

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