Runnels | Independent School, Baton Rouge

Nutrition & Heart Disease

A healthful, nutritious diet is important for everyone, especially for athletes. The food you ingest is what your body uses to fuel and perform maintenance on itself. The former function, provision of energy, is very commonly acknowledged, but the latter, maintenance, encompasses a host of activities that does not often cross most people's minds. Protein, as just one example, is fundamental to body function, not just muscle growth: protein is involved in every bodily function from breaking down a sandwich in the digestive tract to seeing and processing words on a page . . . and that's just protein. In conclusion, diet is something worth monitoring.

10 Tips Nutrition Education Series The link to the left leads to a series of small PDF posters with information about a myriad of nutritional topics. Each one is formatted similarly, with a list of ten tips on how to achieve a given nutritional goal. Examples include "Choosing My Plate," "Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits," and "Eating Better on a Budget." These posters are extremely helpful both for attempting to lose weight and for maintaining a generally healthy diet.

Taylor Hooton Foundation This is a non-profit organization in a national campaign to end the rampant abuse of appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs), anabolic steroids, and dietary supplements among America's youth. 

Heart Disease

You may be wondering why there is a heart disease section in Runnels' Athletic Training website. After all, heart disease only becomes a concern when an individual gets old, right? In reality, that is gravely incorrect. Sudden cardiac death (SCD), or sudden death that is related to heart issues, is the leading cause of exercise-related death in young athletes. In fact, SCD represents a staggering 56% of all sports-related deaths in young athletes. With about 16-17 deaths per year, the risk for death from cardiac issues in young athletes is about 1/200,000 per year (though some think that is much higher). Essentially, heart disease is, indeed, a concern for growing athletes as well as the elderly. The preceding statistics were taken from a national study whose presentation can be viewed by visiting the "Youth Sports Safety Alliance" link on the homepage.

  1. Sudden Cardiac Death  Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the number one cause of exercise-related death in young athletes. It results from a pre-existing, often congenital cardiovascular disorder. Sometimes the first symptom of a cardiovascular disorder is death.
  2. Commotio Cordis Commotio Cordis is a very uncommon, sudden-death heart condition that results from impact to the chest. It is usually seen in sports with projectiles, like baseball.
  3. AHA News The link to the left provides information about a 12-step screening process the American Heart Association proposes will reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death in athletics. 




Athletic Trainer Website content created by Evangelos Nikitopoulos (Class of 2013)

National Athletic Trainer Association Korey Stringer Institute Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy