Dorm Room Essentials for Athletes

Collegiate sports are a great experience, but they wear on your body. Having these five things in your college dorm will help you stay on top of your recovery and allow you to continue to play the sport you love at the collegiate level.

By Nathaniel Tamminga — November 22, 2022


Dorm Room Essentials for Athletes

College athletics is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have during college, but it can also be one of the most demanding. Stepping up your game from high school to college will put a lot more strain on your body, so you need to ensure that you are recovering properly to avoid injury or burnout. Here are five essentials you will need as a college athlete:

Muscle rollers

Muscles rollers are an excellent tool for keeping your muscles loose, limber, and injury free. They come in various shapes and sizes, and you can pick which fits your needs best. My favorite roller for your all-around needs is the Triggerpoint Grid. This roller is great for getting most areas you need to roll. It has a nice, soft foam exterior and a hard plastic interior. This construction allows it to dig in just the right amount while not causing you too much pain. I use this roller daily to keep my muscles loose and ready for each workout.

Another great option is a stick roller. These are great because they give you a little more versatility with where you can roll. However, they rely on you to provide the pressure, which can be tricky when rolling places like your back or arms.

Lastly, a lacrosse ball or baseball is a g reat option to carry around in your backpack, as well as rolling places where you need a very firm, precise roll. I always keep a lacrosse ball with me for my low back and feet. Also, it is great to take on the bus or the plane to loosen your back, glutes, and hamstrings while traveling.

Electrolyte Tablets

Hydration is a key to staying healthy and being able to perform your best in practice and competition. To be fully hydrated, you need to drink more than just water. When you work out, you sweat electrolytes, mainly salt. After you finish an activity, you must replace these electrolytes to avoid cramps, headaches, and injury. Electrolyte tablets and drinks help replenish those lost electrolytes, get you hydrated, and recover faster than water. Some of my personal favorites are Nuun and Pedialyte. Nuun is great because it comes in a small tablet that you add to water. There are very portable and taste great. Pedialyte is great because it has very little sugar compared to other sports drinks but still hydrates you. You should find what works for you in many different options. To perform your best, you must stay hydrated, so having electrolytes in your dorm is essential.

Snacks

Just like your body needs electrolytes to recover after sweating, you also need food to rebuild your muscles and recover quickly. Aim to eat within 30 minutes of completing your practice to jump-start recovery. Having snacks in your dorm room that you can grab before or after practice will increase your recovery tremendously, which will help prevent injuries.

Also, you need to be sure you keep your weight at a healthy level. If you let it drop too low, you will be more prone to injury, taking you out of competition. Having snacks in your dorm will help ensure you are not losing weight. My favorites are pita and humus, peanut butter and bananas, granola bars, or ice cream. If you eat it in moderation, there is no right or wrong snack.

Ice Packs

The increase in the intensity of high school training to college training will likely have you sore. One of the best ways to reduce aches and pains is by investing in a high-quality reusable ice pack. Icing places that hurt will help to reduce the inflammation in those areas and allow you to recover quickly. I like to use Colpac because it is never too cold, but it also stays at an ideal temperature for a long time. Also, it is a very mailable pack, allowing it to mold effectively to any spot you need to ice. Alternatively, a bag of frozen peas works well. They hold their temperature for a long time and allow you to ice multiple locations without refreezing.

Good Pillow and Mattress Topper

All these other recovery suggestions are good, but sleep is your best recovery tool as an athlete. You need to be getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. However, sleep duration is only one of the factors. You also need quality sleep. Many college dorms need better mattresses and often do not aid in high-quality sleep. One of the best ways to help yourself sleep better, and recover better, is by buying a good pillow and mattress topper.

A good pillow will support your head and neck, allowing you to wake up without neck cramps. A good mattress topper can change a bed from lumpy and uncomfortable to a place you never want to leave. Investing in both will drastically improve your sleep and help you to recover faster, allowing you to perform your best all the time.

Collegiate sports are a great experience, but they wear on your body. You need to do everything in your power to recover, stay injury-free, and continue competing. Having these five things in your college dorm will help you stay on top of your recovery and allow you to continue to play the sport you love at the collegiate level.

Nathaniel Tamminga

Nathaniel Tamminga

Nathaniel Tamminga is a graduate student at The Ohio State University, currently pursuing his PhD in Physics. He got his BS in Physics from Azusa Pacific University, where he also minored in Mathematics.
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