Applying Sports Nutrition that Works!
January 4, 2021 written by PDC
Applying Sports Nutrition that Works!
Achieving peak athletic performance is more than just hard work, determination, and practice. Whether you are a professional athlete, student-athlete, or someone that is looking to enhance their current fitness-level, knowing why and how the foods and beverages you eat and drink can play a vital role in your overall success. But how do you know what type of nutrients you need for the sport or activity you are completing? To be successful in your athletic endeavors, it is necessary to ask yourself how much food should you eat, and what kind, before and during your practice. Do you need to pay careful attention to your fluid intake during certain training intervals? Should you change your eating and training habits when you are traveling? These are some of the many types of questions any athletic person should be asking themselves as they work towards maximizing their potential.
Once a person can answer these fundamental questions about optimal fluids and nutrients, an athlete or coach will want to know how food is being processed and used by the body for efficient energy delivery. Understanding how the body digests and uses foods and fluids will allow someone to enhance their athletic potential. Using this knowledge about foods and fluids will also prevent unnecessary GI distress, which can lead to a reduction in performance and discomfort. Throughout your study of sports nutrition, you will be able to comprehend and apply how many factors, such as gender, age, body composition, where specific nutrients are derived, and other components affect the body and its ability to be pushed to the limits.
The Importance of Understanding Sports Nutrition
There is more to top-performance than just understanding and applying proper fluids and nutrients. It also requires a trained mind to weed through the many marketing schemes vying for an athlete's attention. Many athletes will tell you that they are regularly inundated with information about the latest trend in supplements, performance-enhancing powders, diets, or other quick-result training techniques. For any athlete's long-term success, it is necessary to discern the difference between fad diets, supplements, ergogenic aids, and what is scientifically proven to improve athletic performance or ultimately result in hurting an athlete. While proper foods and fluids are the cornerstones of a successful athlete, it is necessary to become aware of other aids and supplements that are widely available. This understanding of supplements and ergogenic aids is especially important because, at times, it can be challenging to make these distinctions, primarily when false information is rooted in tradition or great marketing. However, with your newly developed "food-first" approach to supplements and other performance aids that you will learn from this course, you will receive information on the optimal intake and distribution of vitamins and minerals for every type of athlete.
Benefits of the Course Sports Nutrition that Works!
The 3-semester credit course Sports Nutrition that Works!, offered by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne, is tailored to the specific needs of K-12 educators, coaches, and athletic directors who want easy-to-understand and applicable information for their student-athletes or themselves. As a vital first step, this course dives into understanding nutrition sources for athletes and how to develop these foods and fluids into lasting good habits. Further topics include energy nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fluids and electrolytes, training and traveling, nutrient and fluid timing, and the truths and myths about performance aids.
- Explain the importance of good nutrition in enhancing performance and preventing injury and illness.
- Apply the principles of nutrition, including the roles of fluids and electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, ergogenic aids, macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and dietary supplements, as they relate to the dietary and nutritional needs of athletes and others involved in physical activity.
- Understand the prevailing misconceptions regarding the proper use of food, fluids, and nutritional supplements.
- Learn about common food fads and strength or weight-gain diets.
- Describe the functions of vitamins and minerals, and understand good sources of each nutrient.
- Describe digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, and the uses of fats and proteins.
- Identify the consequences of improper fluid replacement.
Sports Nutrition that Works! Course Contents
Additionally, students who complete the course Sports Nutrition that Works! by Professional Development Courses at the University of La Verne will learn nutritional strategies and plans for different types of athletes such as the power athlete, endurance athlete, and the power-endurance athlete. Understanding each type of strategy is critical to success and optimization. For example, you will learn that the power-endurance athlete requires optimal storage of foods and fluids, and they need to be able to have efficient replenishment strategies during training and competitions.
Additional contents include:
- Essential nutrients
- Energy metabolism during exercise
- Control of body temperature during exercise
- Training with supplements
- Anaerobic power: Strength, speed, and explosiveness
- Aerobic power: Endurance, stamina, and long-term gains
- Meal timing
- Eating on the road.
- Nutrition plans
- Sample meal plans
- Role of carbohydrate in sports performance
- Nutrition and weight control
- Role of protein in sports performance
- Role of fat in sports performance
- Role of fluids in sports performance
- Balancing calories and nutrients for optimal performance.
- Special concerns for women
While you are completing Sports Nutrition that Works!, you will be developing the tools necessary to fine-tune your body’s use of foods and fluids through a curriculum explicitly made for busy K-12 educators and coaches. All content is self-paced, written in a user-friendly format, and accessible online 24/7 or via an emailed PDF format.
Note, the University of La Verne is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Since requirements may vary, students should check with their school district or state department of education before enrolling in a course.
How to Register
The course Sports Nutrition that Works! is completed online or via an emailed PDF format. All books and materials are mailed to the student regardless of the format selected. Featuring online chat support and quick grading turnaround times, the course is open for registration at any time during a semester. Upon completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit on official transcripts from the University of La Verne, an accredited university in La Verne, California.
Registration is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are offered on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! Courses are offered ongoing during three semesters. Students may enroll in up to a maximum of 15-semester credits at any time during each semester.
The registration dates are:
Fall: September 1 – January 31
Spring: February 1 – May 31
Summer: June 1 – August 31
As a K-12 teacher, coach, or athletic director, your goal is to help your student-athletes develop into healthy, efficient, and successful young individuals so they can excel in their respective sports. Learning about proper nutrition, how the body uses these nutrients as fuel, the pros and cons of supplements, and other topics is the key to optimal training and peak performance. Get ready to launch your students into their most successful season yet!