Be You, But Better: For the Athletes…

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Be You, But Better: For the Athletes…

Alaina Africano, Staff Writer

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Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for birds, flowers, and a little bit more sunshine! It also means that it is time for some of our favorite spring sports like track, golf, baseball, soccer, and boys swimming. Living in Colorado, we all know that our athletes train at altitude. In the long run (pun intended), this is great for their bodies and makes them better athletes. However, just like with anything else, there are certain precautions athletes should take when it comes to  playing and  enjoying the high mountain sunshine.

Athletes of all kinds come to Colorado Springs specifically to train. They do this because of the altitude the city sits at of 6,035 feet. This provides an ideal environment for intense sports training. This training causes the body to produce more red blood cells and helps the transport of oxygen through the body. For those athletes who have lived at altitude all of their lives, their body composition is significantly different compared to other athletes’ bodies, giving them an  advantage over other teams who train at lower altitudes. Although it may seem that high altitude athletes are invincible, sadly they are not. Athletes need to take the same precautions as  those who are not used to the altitude and take care of their bodies while working in such tough conditions. Here are a few reminders for our Cougar athletes.

Drink Water: This is the most important thing to remember while you’re out competing. The air in Colorado and other surrounding states is much thinner than in other areas. The humidity levels in Colorado are also very low, making the air drier and harder to breathe. Breathing in the dry air dehydrates your body and can affect your performance on the track or court. Staying hydrated will boost your performance and keep your body in great condition throughout the season.

Sun Protection: Because the air is thinner, that means there is less protection from the sun. According to, there is 25% less sun protection in Colorado compared to other places around the United States. With a quarter less protection, making sure you are wearing sunscreen, chapstick, sunglasses or a hat is important to protect your skin and eyes while you’re competing in the Colorado sunshine.

Eating Right: This was a new tip for me! Obviously as an athlete you want to eat a healthy balanced diet. However, eating foods high in potassium help replenish electrolytes and balance the amount of salt in your body! Again, this will help your performance and keep you going throughout an entire meet or game. Some foods high in potassium include; bananas, avocados, tomatoes, and celery.

Prepare for the Weather: Colorado is known for it’s unpredictable weather. It can go from sunny and seventy-five to snowing within the hour. If athletes are planning to travel or have an all day event, athletes should have all different kinds of clothing with them. Hats, sweaters, sweatpants, and an extra pair of socks should be packed along with uniforms. No matter what the situation, you will be warm, comfortable, and ready to play.

All of these tips and tricks will positively impact your performance as an athlete and help you be you, but better for your team.