May 24, 2016Rutgers Football Boosting Nutrition
Nutrition is playing an increasingly important role for student-athletes. At Rutgers University, Allison Kreimeier, inaugural Director of Performance Nutrition for Athletics, is working hard to help football players stay hydrated and understand healthy eating.
As explained in an article from App.com, getting 18 to 22 year olds to make healthy nutrition choices can be easier said than done. To get started, Kreimeier gauged the football players’ hydration levels and nutrition by asking about their food and restaurant preferences, use of supplements, sleep habits, cramping, and urination frequency. From there, she tried to find healthy options based on their habits.
“I know that there are meals that they have to get on their own,” Kreimeier told App.com, “and more than 50 percent of the time they are not going to be homemade meals. I put together a brochure that they can stick in their backpack—it’s laminated and pocket size—listing all the restaurants nearby and good choices at each. Meeting them where they are is the most important thing. You can’t prevent [unhealthy eating], but we can educate them, for sure.”
As a next step, Kreimeier took the team for grocery store tours to show them how to shop. In the future, she would like to tackle cooking demonstrations. In the meantime, she’s there to keep an eye on their plates and to offer advice when they need it.
“She understands football’s needs,” Head Football Coach Chris Ash told App.com. “She came in with all these notes and binders, and she didn’t need any of them. She could go through A-Z different types of plans based on an individual player’s needs.”