Nutrition seminar discusses supplements and supplementation

Samantha Hoppert, General Reporter

When it comes to performing your best as an athlete, there is more to a routine then simply working out and practicing. One main aspect to note as an athlete is how you treat your body after your workout. Specifically, the vitamins and minerals one may take to improve performance, these are also known as supplements. Supplements and supplementation was the topic of discussion at the April 25 session of the 6 week sports performance seminars presented by various students enrolled in the UW-Platteville Health Promotion class.

This session on supplements and supplementation was presented by fifth year health and human performance major Sawyer Pratt.

“I know a couple of athletes that take the stuff and I don’t think student athletes chose the proper [supplements] or rely too much on them,” Pratt said when asked why he decided to speak on this topic. Pratt said that he chose this topic from a list of six that he had to create in class.

In order to prepare for his presentation, Pratt did some research as well as some practical work.

“I had a run through with a class on Friday and worked about an hour a day [on the presentation] throughout the week [prior],” Pratt said.

Pratt started the seminar by asking those in attendance to write down what supplements they take. However, most of the attendees never took any supplements, except for one man.

The presentation then continued with a YouTube video featuring Dr. Josh Axe. The video discussed what supplements in order for an athlete to perform at their best. Axe also discussed the different forms of supplements including pills and the best form of supplements, powder. Ace concluded the video by highlighting the fact that a speedy recovery and athletic performance are the key reasons to take supplements.

Pratt then presented on the definition of a supplement and how even a good supplement is not a replacement for a well-balanced meal. According to Pratt’s presentation, a supplement is a product intended to supplement the diet that contains one or more ingredients such as vitamins or amino acids. Pratt also stressed that a supplement will not outweigh a bad diet, therefore it is important to eat healthy while taking supplements.

The seminar then transitioned into the specifics of amino acids and proteins. According to the presentation, amino acids are the basic building blocks of proteins and without them the body is unable to build muscle mass. Proteins are important because they build and repair the tissues in our bodies. One important aspect of proteins was the anabolic window, or the 30 minutes after a workout. Also, the fact that endurance athletes require 50 percent more protein than other athletes.

In addition, Pratt also discussed when to take supplements. Times include when you are growing, when you starting a new workout program and within three hours of exercising. Lastly, Pratt showed the National Collegiate Athletic Association drug testing video. This video showed the seven different classes of drugs the NCAA recognizes and prohibits student athletes from taking. All NCAA athletes are required to watch the video.

The seminar session ended with a game of Kahoot. Kahoot is a learning game that is divided in multiple choice questions about the topic of choice that people sync up to with their phones. The games ranks who answers the questions first and correct. Playing Kahoot seemed to be the highlight of the presentation with the 10 attendees getting somewhat competitive with one another. If you were within the top five places you were able to have first choice at one of the free supplements that were handed out at the end of the presentation.

One thing that Pratt hoped people took away from the presentation was “that supplements don’t replace real food. A protein shake will not make up for dinner or lunch, [supplements] will not fix a bad diet,” Pratt said.

Amongst the 10 attendees one said they did take away something from the presentation.

“I learned that high levels of caffeine are not allowed [in the NCAA],” sophomore animal science major Randi Sheetz said.

The last sports performance nutrition seminar was held on Monday May, 2.

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