College Nutrition: Set Yourself Up For Success!

As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to eating at college depending up who you are and what college you go to.
Good old college food. Well at least I can say that. Heck, our college food choice here at Ball State University is setup to the delight of any taste. But this can be the big problem for us bodybuilders when heading off to college, or the new lifter who wants to get serious about bodybuilding and is finally on his own when it comes to food choice. As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to eating at college depending up who you are and what college you go to.

First Step - After receiving your schedule plan eating time.

Sounds like a glutton in the making, but this is vital to your success. By preparing ahead what you will eat and where you will get your food from during the week is important, otherwise you will end up eating at times completely different every week with possibly bad food choices. I recommend setting up a plan so that you have the leeway to eat every 2-3 hours and you already KNOW what cafeteria or food shop you are going to get your meals from.

Then you can stop to get your food after class or before class even starts. I was lucky enough to have a schedule that allowed for flexibility when eating, but still not food choice. If you want to setup a schedule that will help with your nutrition plan, go for it, but realize that education is more important than having a perfect diet plan.

Second Steps - Food Choice.

The cafeterias usually serve the same foods each day, but if you go to one like they have at my college, you have many different food choices in one large area. There are 3 buffets, and many restaurant style eateries, along with small shop type places with snacks and fast food to your hearts content. Notice how I did not say this was anywhere near easy. So stick to your guns, eventually with your plan and action, you will overcome the cravings to test out the many foods you normally would love in the beginning of a new diet. Go to the various cafeterias at the beginning of your semester or year and survey the choices.

They might offer wraps or sandwiches that you can customize on your own for a pretty good meal, and I feel they are some of the best things you can buy. At my school, I buy chicken breast sandwiches, chick filet sandwiches, and just remove the bread, simple things like that. You can also buy many types of fruit, vegetables, and good cereal. If you don't go to a college that offers much in the way of food, then you are going to have to purchase some of the basics on your own, but hey, if you want the results you're going to have to make some sacrifices. If you have buffets, occasionally visit them.

The Buffets allow unlimited consumption of bran cereals, milk and vegetables, and usually a nutritional meat dish. These sometimes can be more bang for the buck than anywhere else, and are a great alternative. You can do this, for the past 2 weeks I've eaten ONLY meats (mainly chicken breast) and olive oil because of my diet, no carbs. Talk about dedication.

Third Steps - Sleep and Water

So you finally have your schedule and your where you will eat ironed out, but now what about the rest. Well, you are going to need a lot of water and sleep. Yes I know its college, and it's a time to party, or at least that's what they tell you. Listen, if you want to make the gains you are hoping for, then you are going to have to place priorities. Do you want to party 1 time a week and have a recuperative day spent lounging around when it could have been bent recovering from a hard workout more efficiently?

I haven't even brought alcohol consumption into the picture. You have choices to make, what you do is up to you and how truly dedicated you are. If you want to make the best gains possible, shoot for at least 8-9 hours each night. Classes that don't start to early might be beneficial, they have for me.

Oh that ever-flowing liquid of growth. Yes, liquid is vital to growth, and vital to our success. It has been proven to be vital in protein synthesis, and muscular growth. Do not wind up kicking yourself for this one, because this is bigger than you think. Carry a water bottle to class or even a gallon jug (if you do not mind looking weird) because teachers do not mind. Work your way towards a gallon every day, and you will save your body from working hard on things water will cover.

Final Step - Training

So everything is in order and now it is time to hit the gym. Well, do you know what times are peak hours in the gym? What type of weights does your gym offer, and what condition are they in? What are the hours of the gym? All of these factors will be important when you setup your training plan at college. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

You can do this, I have faith in you and so do other people, but will you do it? Few will, but those who do will have great rewards reaching towards them in the future. Remember, short term sacrifice always means long term gain.

Jonathan S.

If you have anymore questions you can e-mail me at or Instant message me at my name WorldMuscle.