Apr 5, 2022Director of Sports Nutrition Kelsee Gomes Key to Gators’ Offseason
New Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier knows if he wants to see an immediate change on Saturdays, he needs to ensure his athletes are prepared to compete for a full 60 minutes.
And it starts with what athletes are putting in their bodies during the week and on gameday.
A recent article from 247Sports.com highlighted how the Gators’ new director of sports nutrition, Kelsee Gomes, has given a new flavor to Florida’s fueling practices.
Below is an excerpt from the 247Sports.com article.
Another significant area of improvement? The food.
“110 percent,” senior safety Trey Dean said when asked if meals and attention to nutrition had been enhanced under Napier compared to the last several years.
While Napier orchestrated such a change, Dean and his teammates have director of sports nutrition Kelsee Gomes to thank, too.
Gomes, who was hired as Florida’s new head nutritionist in December after overseeing the sports nutrition department at North Carolina since 2015, has helped reimagine that aspect of players’ routines.
Some of the highlights: Each player has a spring weight goal posted on their locker with a detailed and regularly-updated meal plan to help them achieve it. Players are encouraged — and rewarded — for adhering to Gomes’ hydration guidelines which include drinking roughly a gallon of water a day. The team is served one full meal and two grab-and-go snacks on weekdays, including what players call “French Toast Fridays,” a locker room favorite.
“She’s giving us meal plans,” running back Nay’Quan Wright said. “If you wanna gain weight, maintain, you want to lose, they’re doing great with that.”
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A former Division I swimmer at UNC-Wilmington, Gomes has worked in the sports nutrition industry for more than a decade. After graduating with a master’s degree from Florida State, Gomes spent two years as a nutritionist consultant in the traumatic brain injury and rehab unit at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. Hoping to work in sports, Gomes said she reached out to Ricki Keen, the director of performance nutrition for Orlando City Soccer, whom she worked for until she caught her first big break in the sports nutrition industry in 2011.
“I ended up getting hired by Tara Gidus, who did the Orlando Magic at the time, and then she got the contract for UCF which was like for 20 hours a week and so I started helping her doing the consulting over there and knew that was what I wanted to do,” Gomes said.
To read the full story from 247sports.com about Florida’s nutritional shift, click here.