St. Pius X alum speaks to girls soccer program about the importance of proper nutrition

A dietetics student at UGA, Maggie Green (’18) educated the team about adopting healthy eating habits as an athlete

Maggie Green (second from left) celebrates Senior Night in 2019 when she was a member of the soccer program. Head coach Sara Schmitt invited her to speak to the girls soccer program about the importance of proper nutrition.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Green

Maggie Green (second from left) celebrates Senior Night in 2019 when she was a member of the soccer program. Head coach Sara Schmitt invited her to speak to the girls soccer program about the importance of proper nutrition.

Katie Mae Kisla, Staff Writer

Former St. Pius X student Maggie Green (‘18) spoke to the girls soccer program about the importance of proper nutrition.

Green is a dietetics student at the University of Georgia and also was a member of the soccer program for all four years of high school, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she became interested in nutrition. She realized that the outcome of your performance on the field, or even in the classroom had a lot to do with how you take care of your body, beginning with proper fueling. Green works with many of the UGA sports teams, but she mainly monitors the 2022 national champion football team. 

Head coach Sara Schmitt invited Green in to speak to her players because she knew it was necessary to educate the team on how to improve their health and performance on the field. 

“ I believe that all athletes need continued nutritional training, however, it will be of impact if the athlete decides to make it a priority in their life. I hope that listening to someone reiterate the importance of proper fuel for an athlete will help our players make the correct choices in regards to their own daily nutrition,” Coach Schmitt said. 

 During her talk, Green said that many athletes underfeed themselves, which can have many negative results.

“When you are under-eating, you can expect a poor return on your training efforts, and a higher risk of illness and injury,” Green said. 

There are many long-term health benefits [to eating a healthy diet], helps reduce the potential of an injury, enables you to train longer and harder, and even helps with focus and concentration.”

She then explained that proper fueling comes with many benefits for athletes. 

“It enhances performance,” Green explained. “There are many long-term health benefits [to eating a healthy diet], helps reduce the potential of an injury, enables you to train longer and harder, and even helps with focus and concentration.”

Green also informed the players on each food group and the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet.

“Antioxidants reduce body inflammation, improve memory and enhance mood.​ Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, which keep you fuller longer,” Green said.

She went on to give advice about what an athlete’s average game day diet should look like. 

“Eat a bigger breakfast,” Green said. “Double up on carbohydrates, which include foods such as wheat toast, oatmeal, and bagels. Bring snacks in your backpack, such as pretzels, fruits, and granola bars. When you eat the pregame meal, it should be 2-4 hours before the game, which should follow the performance plate (½ carb, ¼ color, ¼ protein). Fuel with simple and easily digestible carbohydrates low in fat and fiber within an hour before.”

Green stressed the importance of proper nutrition and its role in how athletes perform. Although fries and a burger may sound like a filling meal before a game, players should first think about how food can affect their bodies.