Sports Nutrition Cooperative guides Aztec athletes

by Sarah Anderson, Staff Writer

The San Diego State University Sports Nutrition Cooperative works with the Aztec Recreation Center and Student Health Services to support athletic-minded students on their quest for health.

The program, formed in March 2016, focuses on nutrition counseling and breaking down dietary needs and creating food plans for athletes and ARC members.

It also hosts presentations on nutrition, and has presented to the cheerleading, soccer, track and field, swim and water polo teams and sport club teams.

The group was created after SNC supervisor and a registered dietitian Linda Copp was approached by an athletic trainer about SDSU’s athletes’ need for nutrition education.

Founding member of the Sports Nutrition Cooperative and ENS faculty member Jackie Gaylis said the cooperative’s goal is to provide exercise and nutrition information to athletes and students.

The SNC caters mainly to division one and amateur athletes.

“We’re more based on physical activity and those students, rather than the general population,” said Nick Shields, a third year student in SDSU’s dual master’s program.

The SNC currently has 14 members, majority graduate students at SDSU, so providing the entire student body with counseling would be a challenge, SNC supervisor and registered dietitian Linda Copp said.

“It would be great to do the general population, but there’s not enough of us,” Copp said.

SDSU used to employ a dietitian for the general student body, but the position was removed, Copp said.

The SNC hopes to grow to help meet the needs of more athletes and ARC members.

Because the SNC focuses on ARC members and athletes’ personal goals, the program can be as intense as the students choose. The program’s members are available to help meal plan, make recipes, and offer advice to those in need.

Copp said all SNC members have had counseling and nutrition training.

“Everyone here has met one on one with athletes, and explained the different reports on their diets,” she said. “They can walk that athlete through the deficiencies or the excesses of their diet (and) address their needs one on one. “

Gaylis has taken freshmen teams through University Tower Kitchen and Aztec Markets to assist them in utilizing their meal plan in a smart way.

“I’ve had athletes FaceTime me in Whole Foods and ask me about protein powder,” she said. “we are (athletes’) peers, and also their help throughout this process.”