Boarding and Day · Co-ed College Prep · Grades 6–12 & Postgraduate · Hebron, Maine

What is Nutrition?


Hello from the Athletic Training Office!!

At Hebron Academy we want to promote a healthy lifestyle for all of our students. In today's social media and digitally driven information, it becomes very hard to distinguish between fact, fiction and reality. Nutrition and healthy eating is no exception. What is healthy eating? What is good and what is bad for you? Supplements? Vitamins? A young student-athlete can become very confused and misled with a lot of false information that is circulating around the web regarding these subjects. Throughout these periodical notes we will cover a variety of topics that provide the science behind nutrition and the true facts. Also, we will address Hebron Academy’s Policies regarding these issues and how we help educate our young student-athletes.

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What to eat...what do I need:


What should I eat and how much??

I have received several questions, emails and phone calls regarding this very question. The answer is simple if you understand the basics of nutrition and food sources. Our body needs fuel from 4 main organic compounds: Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats and Lipids. Each of these structures are sources of energy that our body needs to function, repair, grow and develop. Each type of organic compound has its own chemical structure and blue print for what it does within our body. 

For the average young person just to maintain normal daily function as a student athlete they need to consume the correct amount of calories and organic compounds. What should a student-athlete be consuming for calories and the correct amount of organic compounds? According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) the average male student athlete should be consuming 22.7 calories per pound of body weight. For example, a 175 pound student athlete should consume 3972.5 calories per day. The average female student athlete should consume 21 calories per pound of body weight. For example, a 120 pound female student athlete should consume 2520 calories per day. These numbers can vary depending upon the type of athlete and the physical demand of the sport. An endurance athlete will have a much higher caloric intake.  The typical student response is; “WOW….this sounds like a lot! I can eat that much!!” But, more likely, you already do. Students need to be aware of what foods contain which organic compound, how much do they need and especially, when do you need it. Carbohydrates are found in breads, cereals, pastas, starches and most fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates are needed by your cells for that simple energy and fuel to make your system work. Protein is needed for your body to build all the structures within your system. They help build skin cells, muscle cells, hair cells all the way to repairing tendons and ligaments. Protein molecules are made from 20 amino acids. 8 of these 20 amino acids are considered essential due to the fact the body can not make them and need to be consumed within our diet. Fats and lipids are necessary for our normal body function as well. In moderate amounts our body needs fat for insulation, storage and for the growth of our neurons within our nervous system. How much of each compound is enough or too much. Well once again the ACSM recommends the following amounts:

  • Protein – 15-20%

    • 1.2 – 1.4 g/kg/bw/day for endurance athletes

    • 1.6 – 1.7 g/kg/bw/day for strength athletes

    • RDA 0.8 - 1.0 g/kg/bw/day

  • Carbohydrate 50-60%

    • 6-10 g/kg/bw/day

  • Fat <30% total kcal/day

    • Less than 10% from saturated fat

As stated above you can determine how much of each organic compound needs to be consumed depending on athletic demands. 

In summary, as you head into the summer months and summer training routines please have a discussion with your family doctor at your next visit about nutrition and what it means for you and your athletic goals. 

Enjoy the summer and GO JACKS!!