I remember my light bulb moment with student athlete nutrition; the day I realized just how messed up it was that young athletes received no education or ongoing support in nutrition and just how badly they needed it.
I had done a multi-day seminar in a grade 11 sports performance class and the athletes had completed a food journal as part of their assignment. They then calculated how many calories they had eaten each day. I was absolutely shocked to find out that the majority of them were not eating enough to support their basic physiological functions while at rest.
This happened over and over again. Every class I visited. Every team that I worked with had the same results.
Honestly, I had always assumed that most teens were probably eating way more calories than they required, that it was really the quality of those foods that were the issue. But, this was not the case at all. The vast majority of them were indeed malnourished on a regular basis.
At the time I was also on the Board of the volleyball club that I coached with and I started to pay closer attention to the number of athletes who were chronically injured, unable to recover, sick all the time, low in energy and mood and even dealing with significant mental and emotional challenges. It all began to make sense.
Here’s the problem. During periods of rapid growth and development, while also experiencing heavy physical demands, a vast majority of young athletes do not get the energy and/or the nutrients that their bodies need to function optimally. And no one is really doing anything about it.
It has become clear to me that stakeholders, program directors and coaches in youth sport (all of which I have been) are doing our athletes a great dis-service by not including nutrition as a foundational part of their sport programming.
And so GUTS was born. We absolutely get to change this.
Our goal is to change the culture of nutrition in youth sport so that athletes can feel great, be healthy and ultimately crush their sport dreams, all while developing a positive body image and a long lasting positive relationship with food.
We have some awesome resources set up for you already. AND we are just finalizing the details of our Student Athlete Nutrition Hub subscription plan. If having simple and effective tools for optimizing nutrition for your student athlete(s) is of interest, please join the waitlist and give us your feedback! You'll be the first to know when it launches. 😁
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Here's to changing the nutrition game. 💪