T Nation

Tips for College Nutrition


#1

I just graduated high school, and I'll be headed to college soon. I'll be making and buying all my own meals, and I'm a little bit nervous for this. I've cooked many meals for myself throughout high school, but I've never been the one paying the bill, and I've never been the one to cook all the meals. In this thread I just wanted to seek the advice of others who have previously made this transition, and to hear what you guys have done to make making meals more convenient and price effective.


#2

I don't have advice but I can say thank god you are making your own food regardless! A lot of athletes I know are being killed at college from the food haha, 5-6 I've visited felt like I ate fast food as well. I bet I could get back to you with some cost saving ideas though! Off to bug my mom! Half the time she goes to the store they owe her money :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

im in the same boat but i have a smaller eating plan with the college im attending. you can open a student account at sams club im not sure if you get discounts but your able to shop their and you can get alot of stuff in bulk for pretty cheap. other than that try and find your chicken and meats on sale at local gorceries and make multiple trips and stock up on it


#4

100% agree, i do costco and buy in bulk for a few weeks at a time, and since im like you and in college with no money i try and get the best bang for my buck so things like eggs, milk, chicken, turkey, and ground beef are awesome, good luck, and where you headed to school?


#5

Yeah, I'm not an expert cook by any means, but I'm glad I took a little time to learn. I think it will come in handy. My grandma is a great cook, and that's originally what inspired me to make a few meals while I was in middle school. As I got older, and became more serious as a football player, I wanted to gain weight, and I always felt bad about eating all the food my mom cooked, so I started making some more meals on my own. I can't do super fancy stuff, but I can follow most recipes.


#6

I'd forgotten, but there will be a Sams Club in the place I'm headed to. There isn't one in my hometown, so this should be nice. What exactly does a student account do? That sounds like something I might check into.


#7

Sams club offers student rate memberships.

Also:

crockpot
eggs


#8

Two articles to check out:

Muscle on a Budget:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/muscle_on_a_budget

(Another) Muscle on a Budget:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/muscle_on_a_budget_1

Also, there have been eleventy hundred threads about this in the past. It's a pretty popular and recurring topic. Use the search (top right corner of the screen) for "college nutrition" or something along those lines to see what people have suggested previously.


#9

Wow. I've been around long enough to have read "use the search" a million times, and I just made that mistake! Whoops! Thanks for the links, though.


#10

I don't know much about this subject, but I remember hearing that you can bulk order food (especially meat) with other people for huge discounts(not just some Costco price, but what they would pay).

Of course you would have to find people to do this with and a little research. But at college a living situation might actually allow that as others are more willing to save and if you live with a few people who knows!

Hope this isn't a terrible idea :stuck_out_tongue: But who knows right!?


#11

Coming from a college athlete may i say boneless skinless chicken breasts and those big boxes of frozen tilapia are your friends. Good cheap lean protein.


#12

Eggs, oats, potatoes,frozen chicken galore. Also, a problem may be fridge space (I have 5 other guy roommates)but I have found around holidays or directly after to buy turkey or big hams, this way you can get cheaper huge amounts of meat at much more affordable prices. Best of luck, if you can find some guys to go in on a Sams club membership do that.


#13

IDK if you have a supplement budget, but if you do:

Prioritize creatine and BCAA over protein powder, in favor of protein from food. That creatine and BCAA will supplement the food better than protein powder.

Don't get me wrong, if you can afford protein powder ALSO, then go for it.

Actually, even before that, add some beta-alanine.

Basically, I've come to the conclusion that the old-timers were consuming such "copious amounts" of whole protein per day to get certain amounts of creatine, BCAA, and beta-alanine. Now that we now about those substances and what they do (in TRAINED individuals), maybe normal people (not pro athletes or pro BB) don't need 300 grams of protein per day, so long as you're getting those targeted nutrients (and a normal amount of whole food).


#14

Im going to purdue. I didnt look at your profile so i dont know where you live but its in indiana. The main thing my brother told me to do was bring tuppleware with you when you go to the mess halls and just fill it up with chicken and rice or whatever you want...i only get two meals a day so i have to some how stretch that into 6....hmmmmm


#15

Forget chicken breasts, legs are way cheaper and flavorful, bake at 350 for 75-90 min depending on size and how crispy you want it. Putting it on a rack in a pan will let the fat drip off and then remove the skin when done, or eat it if you are going for calories. Fish oil, whey, and creatine shouldn't break the bank.

It is easy to bake 5 or 6 legs at once, and you can throw in sweet potatoes wrapped in foil for the final 40 minutes. Cook 2-3 pounds of ground meat at once and meanwhile you could make rice to go with it. Prep your veggies too, and all the sudden you have half your meals for the week. Hard boil a bunch of eggs (3 meals worth) and of course it takes nothing to make a shake with 2 cups milk and whey, add a banana or two and frozen raspberries if you want to splurge.

Most importantly, look ahead and plan your time so you know when you can cook so it doesn't get in the way of school, training, or social life.