By Terry Jacoby
Ben Di Rosa is a defender for the University of Maryland Terps, who despite being only a freshman, has seen playing time on a veteran team ranked among the top 10 in the nation.
Before Maryland he was a four-year starter for Bethesda Academy helping lead the team to the playoffs his freshman and sophomore years.
Di Rosa, whose twin brother, Matt, also plays for Maryland, has participated in U.S. Soccer regional training centers.
When it comes to nutrition, Maryland, like many schools, serves up healthy choices for their student-athletes. And most of them take advantage of this resource throughout the season.
“We have food in the locker room before and after workouts,” Di Rosa said. “It’s all very healthy and we also have a nutritionist who helps us plan what we eat.”
But like every college campus, Maryland does have places where the food isn’t necessarily the best for you – yes, even McDonalds or the popular pizza joint is within a direct kick of campus.
“It’s not hard to find food that isn’t good for you,” says Di Rosa. “We have like 12 different pizza places to choose from and it takes some restraint. But after games and before games we eat as a team so it’s easy to eat right. It’s the other times you have to be careful and eat right and drink a lot of water.”
3 Tips to Healthy Nutrition
Give Time to Digest: During game day, Di Rosa likes to eat about four or five hours before kickoff. “I will have some pasta, chicken, rice, bread … a lot of carbs is important,” he said. “We also drink a lot of water so we stay hydrated which is very important. I might eat a light snack a couple hours before the game like a fruit snack. They are easy and light.”
Educate Yourself: Coming from a “professional environment” like Bethesda Academy, Di Rosa was already educated in the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. “Our coaches there were really big on nutrition and we would practice five times a week and then play games so we needed to eat right. I don’t want to eat anything before practice that makes me feel full. You want to play light. And avoid pizza. That’s the big one for me.”
Support Teammates: A team that plays together, eats together. And supporting your teammates to do the right thing – on and off the field – will go a long way in the win-loss column. “My roommates are all on the soccer team so we all have the same eating habits which makes it easier,” Di Rosa says. “There is a lot of information out there on eating healthy so people should take advantage of that.”