A Runner’s Appetite — The Importance Of Nutrition As A Student Athlete

Catherine Rile, Staff Writer

As an athlete, nutrition can make or break a sports career. Food fuels the body and allows an athlete to take their performance to the next level. When nutrition is taken seriously, athletes are better able to unleash their full potential. NFL football star Tom Brady recently retired, and he played until the age of 44. In addition to being one of the oldest in the league, he is known for his unique plant-based and protein-packed diet. His healthy lifestyle choices are believed to be part of the reason for his amazing success. 

Similar to Brady, Minnetonka athlete Maya Mor, ‘23, takes her nutrition seriously. Mor runs cross country and track at MHS. She also runs an Instagram account, @runnersappetite, where she posts about the importance of fueling one’s body and taking care of it. Her posts vary from her daily meals to inspirational content. 

“[Nutrition] is really a make-it-or-break-it thing, and a crucial part of performing and maximizing your capabilities as an athlete. I believe it is the reason I have been able to have the successes I’ve had. As a whole, I think it’s needed to play your best or run your best; you have to be fueled,” she said. 

However, proper nutrition can be easily overlooked, especially for female athletes. Women are three times more likely than men to develop an eating disorder in their lifetime. 

Mor said, “I think with girls as a whole, there are certain societal standards [about] how you should eat or what you should look like. Obviously male athletes have their own issues, and I’m not trying to discredit any of that, but it’s different for female athletes…I think girls as a whole often get misled and don’t properly nourish themselves. A lot of people aren’t aware of nutrition, but, for me, every small factor counts, so I really had to dial in on nutrition and learn more about it so that I can perform my best. Sports have made me realize the importance of eating enough and eating nourishing foods while also living my life.” 

Mor’s Instagram has recently taken off, and currently has 1,115 followers as of this issue’s print deadline. She is dedicated to the account not only as a way to express herself but also to help inspire others. 

“I just started this as a hobby in quarantine, and it’s been a great way to connect with others. For the future, I’m just going to see where it goes. If it grows, it grows, but I also just like to spread the message of nutrition, especially with endurance sports,” she said.

For a closer look at Mor’s work, check out her Instagram @runnersappetite.