Performance Nutrition Update

Last month, I spent some time at Division I Duke University in North Carolina learning the latest in college sports, pro sports, and military performance nutrition. Check out some behind-the-scene photos of Duke Football. You’ll notice a strength record with the name Paul Asack on it. He is an amazing athlete I used to run track with in the summer (a long time ago… proud of you Paul!). Bonus: My dietitian colleagues from all over the U.S. and I completed a sweaty strength and conditioning workout on an indoor turf Duke Football practice field (see photos included in post).

What does a dietitian do for a sport or military performance team, you ask?

The role of a dietitian for a performance team:

  • Dietitian provides resources to coaches (education, support, recommendations)
  • Collaborate on protocols and strategies used
  • Collects and consolidates data, stays current on research
  • Body composition, performance supplements, vitamin supplementation
  • Members of performance team: athletic trainer, sports medicine physician, sport dietitian, strength & conditioning coach, sport psychologist, clinical psychologist, sport scientist

 

Questions a dietitian may ask an athlete/performance team member:

  • Tell me about your current eating habits.
  • How many times do you eat per day?
  • How many times do you eat outside of your home?
  • Do you avoid any foods?
  • Do you take supplements?
  • Do you know which supplements are banned by the NCAA?
  • How much water do you drink before, during, and after a workout?
  • How easy/difficult is it for you to maintain your weight?
  • What are your weight goals?
  • How important is this to you?

Fun facts:

Did you know 74% of female D1 athletes did not meet the minimum recommendations for carbohydrates and 50% did not meet the minimum needs for protein in a 2013 study of 52 D1 athletes?

Dietitians can calculate your fluid needs, carbohydrate, fat and protein needs depending on your sport and your position in your sport (ex: pitchers need more calories than third basemen).

How are Traditional Sport (Athletes) similar and different to/than Tactical Athletes (Soldiers)?

There are many similarities and differences like regular access to food and fueling stations and variable access to food and sanitation. The biggest one is outcomes:

Win/Lose vs. Life/Death 

 

Published by MajorLeagueNutrition

Nicole earned her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Simmons College while working as a Personal Trainer at Boston Sports Clubs and Gold's Gym. While at Simmons College, she competed in crew, ice hockey and cheerleading. She went on to earn her master's degree in Applied Nutrition with a concentration in Fitness from Northeastern University. Between undergraduate school and graduate school, Nicole completed one year of service under the auspices of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas as a Wellness Coordinator at a K-12 public charter school. Nicole completed her Dietetic Internship through Wellness Workdays to gain experience in Clinical Dietetics, Community Nutrition, Long Term Care Nutrition, Food Service Management, Corporate Wellness, Private Nutrition Counseling, and Sports Dietetics. Nicole worked as a Research Assistant at Tufts University for a Preliminary Investigation of Civic Engagement as a Novel Approach to Behavior Change and Body Weight Improvement in African American Females: The Change Club Study. Nicole recently launched the clinical and fitness nutrition programs for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital's Home Base Program. For the past few years, Nicole has increased wellness programs at the John Nagle Co. in Boston's Seaport District, bringing in fitness instructors, yoga instructors, the American Heart Association, healthy restaurant options, and health screenings to a diverse population of fisheries workers. More recently, Nicole worked on the Framingham State Food Study with Boston Children's Hospital and is currently working on the Breast Cancer Weight Loss Study with Dana Farber. Nicole continues to help deployed service members and their spouses and partners find and create new avenues for healthy lifestyles before, during, and after deployment. Nicole has experience counseling veterans, professional, adult and college athletes, and individuals and families looking to make changes in their routines to better their health. Nicole lives an active lifestyle and this year completed the Boston Marathon injury and cramp-free. Nicole enjoys educating individuals and groups. Some of the topics she teaches include: Choosing Foods to Improve Your Mood, Eating for Exercise, How to Navigate the Grocery Store, Eat This not That, Building a Balanced Meal, How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, and Finding Health Sources You Can Trust.

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