One thing that often gets overlooked is the importance of nutrition on health and performance in sports and school. Athletes have specific needs related to their intake because of the workload they put on their bodies in their respective sports.
With sports, nutrition can help with muscle building, endurance, cardiovascular, and bone health. But that’s the stuff we all kind of “know”. What we don’t see a lot is that it’s also well documented that nutrition can have a profound impact on mental health. If people aren’t getting enough food (mainly noted in carbohydrates) their brains don’t get the kind of fuel they need through the day.
As a registered dietitian Erica can complete an assessment of athletes and their need to ensure they are not just getting enough, but help with strategies to get there. Athletes need to consider things like the timing of their meals and snacks to make sure that they’re excelling in all areas.
Erica offers individual athlete assessments to review current intake and make recommendations.
She will provide a comprehensive plan on how to meet those recommendations and goals. Follow up assessments are able to be booked based on the need from the athlete. Parent appointments are also available with Erica. As we all know – often times parents/guardians are the ones preparing and shopping for most of the food. It can be very overwhelming to be the person in charge of all this.
1) Am I eating enough food for the amount of training and fitness I am doing?
Well, the short answer is probably not! Athletes need tons of energy from food to keep up with all the training and school work they’re doing. As a Dietitian, I have not met an athlete yet that eats enough food (so it may surprise you to know that you may not be either). Having a dietitian look over your diet and your training schedule will not only make sure you’re eating enough food, but also to help you get enough of the RIGHT foods.
2) I am an athlete parent – I feel lost when it comes to feeding my athlete, can you help with that?
Absolutely! Feeding your athlete can feel like a full time job on its own. When trying to coordinate family meals and athlete schedules, sometimes the last thing you want to think about is “is this the right thing to feed my kid”. As a Dietitian, I work with lots of families who don’t want to make second meals for their athletes (and fair – that’s a ton of work). We can review how balance the meals you’re already making to benefit your athlete, in addition to some basic shopping lists to include great basics for meals and snacks on the go.
*Appointments for athlete parents can be generalized or specified to your athlete. For specific recommendations, your athletes will require an individual assessment booked with Erica , RD prior to parent appointment. Specific recommendations are not able to be provided during a parent appointment unless the athlete has been assessed for their needs.
3) How important is eating breakfast?
SO important. There is a reason it’s called “break-fast”. It is breaking your fast from the night before. Your body needs its recovery time as an athlete, but what we often forget is HOW this happens. Overnight your body will use the nutrients you have stored to repair your bones/muscles/ and a million other functions. Once your body uses what’s stored – you have nothing left to use! This means your body will need to borrow nutrients like protein from your muscles. When you want to get stronger, the last thing you want to do is have protein leave your muscles. By eating breakfast we give the body the nutrients it needs to keep up with sports, workouts and school.
4) As a female athlete, I notice most of the nutrition recommendations are for men, is there anything special I need to do? Or should I just follow the basics?
This is a super important question. You’re totally right that the “basic” recommendations are made for men in sports. As females there are a few very important things to assess in nutrition. As females we need to consider things like iron, and calcium more than men do. Women are at greater risk of underfuelling for their sport vs men of the same age.
Erica Noddin is a registered dietitian focusing on sport and athlete nutrition for each individual athlete. This means providing recommendations for female athletes and ensuring there is a focus on their specific needs and nutrition risks as women. Athlete and performance nutrition includes a weight neutral practice approach, meaning body weight is not a health outcome that is measured. We know that weight changes based on current life factors including things like training load, age, and various other impacts. Weight is a poor indication for health and performance, and therefore we do not use weight for anything other than macronutrient calculations.
SMART PERFORMANCE MISSION
To facilitate athletic excellence by providing sports-based Mentorship and proper academic guidance to maximize the success of young athletes on a long-term goal oriented basis.