Sports nutrition resources on campus

Ondrea Machin, Staff Reporter

CWU’s athletic program offers student athletes access to nutritional resources that can help them better understand how to fuel their body.

Most DII colleges don’t have access to a dietitian for their student athletes, but CWU is one of the first DII programs to have access to a dietitian and graduate assistant. Having this program gives athletes the opportunity to get a personalized nutrition plan.

Kelly Pritchett, who is an associate professor in nutrition and exercise science, said nutritionists make recommendations for athletes but the athletes are not expected to follow them. They want to create a general awareness of fueling their body and what it should look like, Pritchett said.

“[We] want to provide them with a good understanding of fueling their body for practice and games and what their energy needs may look like,” Pritchett said.

Student athletes have a couple options when it comes to seeking nutritional information, which includes one-on-one nutritional meetings with the two dietitians on campus, Kelly Pritchett and Sophia Berg, small group meetings or team talks.

CWU athletics also has a small fueling station for students after they finish a weight-lifting session. The fueling station only consists of chocolate milk right now, but athletics hopes to provide more options in the future, according to Pritchett.

Sports nutrition graduate assistant Sophia Berg said in the past they offered cooking demonstrations and now those are online. They also offer personal hydration plans, a sports nutrition class and a nutrition 101 course.

Both Pritchett and Berg said they tailor their recommendations based on an individual approach because every athlete is different, and they have different needs for fueling their body.

“Our recommendations for them is going to differ depending on their sport, kind of where they are, what kind of goals they have and things like that,” Berg said.   

However, athletes need to beware of falling into diet culture and “quick fixes,” as well as trusting their body and learning to eat intuitively, Pritchett said.

“There is a lot [of] nutritional misinformation out there, each athlete is going to have individual needs and we do really take an individual approach with each athlete,” Berg said.

If athletes have questions or want to talk with one of the dietitians, they can directly contact Pritchett or Berg via email, ask their coach to get in contact with them or message on Instagram @cwusportsnutrition.