Once class ended at 3 p.m., crowds of fall student athletes walked to the MVHS gym. The doors were held open by students handing out Gatorade Prime Energy Chews, and more boxes filled with Gatorade products were seen stacked to the sides. Inside the gym, each sports team gathered on the floor, tossing a ball back and forth or chatting before the presentation started. In front of the athletes stood Simone Miller, a representative from Gatorade who came to MVHS to talk about the importance of proper nutrition for athletes and announce the beginning of G-week at MVHS.
Miller had been talking with MVHS athletic director Javier Margarito about bringing Gatorade Week, or G-Week, to MVHS, which required MVHS purchasing enough product packages from Gatorade to qualify as a school that could have a G-week. Once MVHS was chosen to have a G-Week by Gatorade, Miller and Margarito arranged a presentation along with enough Gatorade products to hand out at the fall practices from Sept. 18 to 20.
“It was a full year process of trying to get [MVHS] on board and understanding the importance of it,” Miller said. “Especially since a lot of schools don’t focus on hydration and fueling your body.”
Margarito believes being knowledgeable about nutrition is one of the most important aspects of being a successful athlete, so he was excited when MVHS agreed to purchase enough Gatorade products to qualify for a G-Week program. According to Margarito, when athletes of any age don’t eat the right amount of carbohydrates, fats or proteins, it’s easier for them to become fatigued and suffer injuries.
Margarito hopes that partnering with Gatorade will allow him to share nutrition information and buy subsidized Gatorade products for all MVHS athletes. Some of the products provided for G-Week included energy chews, protein shakes, bars and Gatorade powder. Margarito believes giving student athletes more nutritional options will help them make better choices before and after practice.
“My point is giving the athletes the chance to think about what is it they’re eating before practice and [helping them]see what’s available to them so that they have options.” Margarito said. “More often than not, it comes down to athletes not knowing what is available to them.”
The food products were the most tangible item G-week brought to MVHS, but Miller explains that Gatorade also provides materials for the athletic staff to use.
“The athletic directors get a bunch of stuff just to use throughout the year,” Miller said. “They get coolers, they get posters, they get mixing sticks and just coaching tools as well, so it’s a full program for them as well that they can take and use throughout the season.”
Junior Cheto Vasquez, a fall athlete who listened to Miller’s presentation, says that the information would help with future workouts and exercise.
“We’ll take [the new information in]and use it taking protein after workouts and taking a lot of carbohydrates before because it affects our performance and that’s what we really want in the sport,” Vasquez said.
However, one of the limitations of G-Weeks is that a school can only have one week per calendar year. According to Margarito, spreading the word and products to all the sports teams could be a challenge for the athletics department.
According to Miller, the reasoning behind the decision from Gatorade was to balance out how many schools would receive a G-Week, instead of one school receiving multiple visits and another school receiving none. However, now that MVHS athletes received their first G-Week visit, Margarito hopes this message will resonate past the fall season.
“I know in high school one of the first things I used to do when I got home was I would shower and I would make my meal. My meal consisted of two things, usually it’s minute rice and usually some sort of protein, which was chicken,” Margarito said. “I mean for me, I didn’t know any better. I’ve come to find out that that’s actually not a bad way of recovering. You kind of start learning this as you go but if we have these resources available to us, it’s like sharing the wealth, we’re giving back.