Recently, a new program has begun inside the Berkeley High School cross country locker rooms. This is a program committed to helping runners with underfueling before, but mostly after, meets and practices. Inside the locker rooms, it’s chock full of snacks like almonds, meat sticks, and sun chips that replenish and provide food for runners. When runners come back from a meet or practice and are able to recharge their body, it ultimately has a good outcome on their health and running capability.
The program was started by Sonia Delangle, a former BHS cross country runner who graduated last year. The program is funded by the families of the team. These families have spread the need for funding to their family and friends. “Sort of through word of mouth,” said Brad Johnson, who is one of the coaches for the cross country team.
According to Johnson, there is a refueling window for athletes, specifically after the first hour after exercise, where carbs and protein are needed to help replenish muscle and ensure that catabolism muscle tissue (degrading muscle) is stopped.
Freshman Josephine Cooper, said that the program has helped her with running and overall health. “It makes me feel more nourished, before and after my runs,” she said.
Dahlia Cohan-Schiff, a BHS sophomore, believes the program has not only helped her with her running ability, but also helped with community building. “Especially sharing the food with your teammates is also, I don’t wanna say team bonding, but it kind of is,” Cohan-Schiff said.
Along with the students noticing changes and improvements with the team and at practice, Brad Johnson, the head coach, has also noticed advantages of the new program. “I would argue that many of our athletes are taking advantage of it so that would be my note of success,” he said. Because of his experience with the team and his knowledge of the science behind getting carbs and food after practice, it helps him to encourage athletes to eat the food provided. “If you’re hungry, especially after working out, and your body’s telling you to eat and you have the ability to eat. It’s generally a good thing that we’ve accommodated that,” Johnson said.