Take a Shot

October 3, 2017

At the University of Missouri, athletes have been fueling up with “Hydration Jell-O” shots before and after practice. Although the Hydration Jell-Os resemble the popular alcoholic shots, that’s where the similarities end.

Instead of liquor, these shots are made with water, gelatin, and electrolyte powder. Recent studies have encouraged the consumption of gelatin prior to working out. The belief is that as the blood flow increases with exercise, the collagen in the gelatin can get worked into soft-tissue areas. 

“When you try it, you’re like, ‘This isn’t the Jell-O I had as a kid,'” Claire McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT, who recently resigned as Director of Sports Nutrition at Missouri, told The Columbia Missourian. “It’s really thick because the whole point is getting gelatin, which is collagen, into the system.”

The overall goal with the Jell-O shots is to help prevent musculoskeletal injuries. The extracellular matrix can be reinforced with collagen, which in turn strengthens tendons and joints.

“[The extracellular matrix is like] the steel bars in reinforced concrete that increase the strength and ductility of the material,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel introduced her recipe for Hydration Jell-O this summer. The shots are available in the main athletic facility before practice and in the recovery areas after practice. Both the football and basketball teams have readily adopted them.

“I started doing it, put a good practice together. Did it again, and put another good practice together,” said Drew Lock, quarterback for the Tigers. “It became one of those things where I’m like, ‘Alright, I gotta have a Jell-O shot before I go out to practice.’ Because if not, it’s going to be a bad day.”

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