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Sports Nutrition Workshops

Sports Nutrition is very important and it does impact athletic performance. There is a saying that says:

“Nutrition and Training go hand in hand.”

It is true. If you do not fuel yourself and recover properly with nutrition, then your workouts will deteriorate. One reason is due to glycogen. Not fueling and recovering properly will deplete your glycogen stores, thus you will not have the energy to complete your workouts. Do not be the athlete who performs worse and worse as the season goes on. You want to keep improving and improving. After all, the biggest game is at the end of the season. You want to be at your best.

So, that’s my little talk about Sports Nutrition before I talk about the workshops. I am so lucky to be able to take a Sports Nutrition class AND be able to work with the athletic teams at school.

I am guessing what you guys are wondering is, “What is the layout of the workshop?”. Well, here are the components of the workshop.

  • Pre-test
  • Cooking Demo
  • Body Composition
    • Height, weight, body fat (using calipers)
  • Demonstrations
  • Nutrition Game
  • Training Table (a pre or post competition meal to serve to the athletes at the end. It should be the same recipe as the cooking demo)
  • Jeopardy Game or a game to consolidate everything
  • Post-test
  • Slide-show presentation covering all nutrition topics covered during the workshop
  • Take-A-Ways

The team comes in and takes a pre-test. The pre-test asks questions about nutrition that will be covered throughout the workshop.

Then, the team is split into three groups:

  • Body Composition
  • Cooking Demo
  • Nutrition Game

There has to be a lot of coordination to know when to switch the groups to the next “station”. The people running the workshop have to be able to communicate with one another to know when it is time to switch.

Body Composition

For the body composition, there are two parts to it. The height, weight, and body fat measurements are taken. The body fat measurements are measured with calipers and measurements are entered into a formula. While people are waiting to have their measurements taking, they will be watching a demonstration. The demonstration will be on any nutrition topic that may be important to the athletes or specific problems the coach is noticing.

Some examples include:

  • Hydration
  • Serving Size
  • Healthier Fast Food Options (most teams eat on the road during competition)

Cooking Demo

During the cooking demo, a basic nutrition lesson can be given. It is usually based on what is important to athletes. Talk about why glycogen is important with athletes. If they are in college, maybe talk about the effects of alcohol on athletic performance. Saying that they cannot drink alcohol will not go well with athletes. They will listen if they know that it will effect their performance.

After the quick lesson, do a cooking demo. The recipe you cook up in the kitchen should be related to pre-workout nutrition or post-workout nutrition.

Remember these ratios:

Pre-workout: 4:1 Carbohydrates:Protein

Post-workout:3:1 Carbohydrate:Protein

As a Sports Nutritionist/Dietitian, you will find or create a recipe that will either fuel the athlete’s workouts or help them recover.

Nutrition Game

This is where you can have fun with the workshop. Create a small game where the athletes are able to learn nutrition as well. Have them draw vegetables. Get them involved and thinking.

Training Table

After the athletes have gone through all three stations, it is time for them to eat. Feed them the meal that was shown in the cooking demo. As they are eating with each other, have the slideshow presentation running. It will help reinforce everything they learned throughout the workshop. The slideshow will have all the answers to the jeopardy game that will be played after the athletes are done eating.

After playing jeopardy, the workshop is essentially over.  They will take a post-test, which is the same test as the pre-test. This will measure if they learned anything during the workshop.

As they leave, they will have a Take-A-Way to take home with them. This will cover the essential topics covered throughout the workshop. It can be the recipe the athletes take home to cook. It can be a urine color coder for athletes to help them determine their hydration. It can be anything that will help them remember what they learned in the workshop. Be creative. Make sure it is something that the athletes will find useful, not something that they’ll throw away.

There are many different ways to do a workshop but this is how we did it. There are also other components you have that are more behind the scenes kind of things before even conducting the workshop. This is just the gist of it but there are a lot more that goes into preparing for a workshop.

What is your take on Sports Nutrition?

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