USC Upstate Student-Athletes Benefitting from First-Year Nutrition Fueling Station

USC Upstate Student-Athletes Benefitting from First-Year Nutrition Fueling Station

Spartanburg, S.C. – The Spartan Performance Center, home to USC Upstate's strength and conditioning program, has received a new upgrade added during the 2018-19 academic year in the form of a new office and nutrition fueling station enhancing the student-athlete experience.

The fueling station was created through a collaboration between the university administration and athletic department. The purpose of the fueling station is to help the Spartan student-athletes begin their metabolic recovery process from the strenuous demands of athletics and training placed upon their bodies.

"Our new Fueling Station is state-of-the-art and completely transforms our Performance Center—it's a game changer for Spartan Athletics and all of our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Daniel Feig. "Chancellor Kelly identified student-athlete nutrition and wellness as an area he wanted to enhance prior to my arrival last summer, and this project is consistent with that vision. The relationship between proper nutrition, academic success and athletic performance is clear, and our new Fueling Station will help our student-athletes achieve success in both areas." 

Recognizing the importance of healthy habits, the fueling station has allowed staff and student-athletes to hold critical conversations as it relates to nutrition, behavior modification and healthy lifestyles. Upon completion of a strength and conditioning training session, USC Upstate student-athletes now can receive a nutrition source aiding the anabolic recovery process.

"The new nutrition bar is a great asset to our weight room," said senior softball student-athlete Brittany Case. "It is important for all student-athletes to be taking in the adequate amount of nutrients to compensate for the amount of calories being burned throughout the day. If we are all staying healthier, we are going to have more energy and ultimately everyone will perform better on the field/court. I am so thankful to be part of an athletic department that truly puts all their student-athletes' well-being first. I believe this nutrition bar has already had a positive impact on all student-athletes and will continue to evolve and make an even greater impact."

The fueling station will help support the essential role that nutrition serves in the pursuit of athletic and academic achievement for over 250 plus student-athletes at USC Upstate.

"I like that athletic programs are getting serious and with the nutrition center student-athletes can get the true recovery their bodies need," said Tanner Saunders, a senior on the men's track and field team.

The USC Upstate Exercise Science and Strength and Conditioning Department have partnered to develop, facilitate the function, and enhancement of the fueling station. Exercise Science student interns are providing valuable insights into not only how the fueling station functions and operates; but, also help gather useful data through surveys, opinions, and providing informational tools for student-athletes. The collaboration of students working alongside student-athletes has given the fueling station direction to better accommodate the needs of student-athletes, staff, and athletic department.

"I think that the nutrition center will greatly benefit the baseball team and every other sports teams here at USC Upstate," said baseball junior student-athlete Trey Van Der Weide. "Coming from my freshman year here with no nutrition center and now we have protein waters. We have dieticians that we speak to and other nutritionists that will help us on and off the field and excel in the sport that we play."

Currently, PowerPoint presentations created by students and staff are on display on televisions in the nutrition center for student-athletes' education. Baseball partook in a video conference call with a dietician provided by READY Nutrition that not only gave the athletes information for proper effective in-season nutrition but, also allowed the baseball players time for questions and answers. In conjunction with the Zephyr Bio-analytics' system, staff and students have begun to create and implement more science-based refueling for the student-athletes. In the future, every athletic team will be able to meet or video conference with dieticians. Student-athletes will have a chance to receive additional educational opportunities regarding healthy lifestyle habits, proper nutrition, and behavior modification in the form of field trips to grocery stores, information covering mental health and sleep habits, as well as, appropriate preparation for athletic and academic success.

"I love having the nutrition bar in the weight room now because it is easy access to all student-athletes at USC Upstate to refuel our body," said Jada Kinlaw, a rising senior on the women's soccer team. "Having the protein powder, protein bars and protein water is great after a workout and helps cancel out a little of the soreness that we would feel the next day after a hard workout. This will benefit all student-athletes because we will quickly be practice- and game-ready with all of these new additions provided by our wonderful school."

USC Upstate head strength and condition coach Jake Roy added, "I am ecstatic how the nutrition fueling station came together, along with the great new opportunities it creates for athletic programs. This process began with an idea back in March of 2018. Through research and collaboration with several individuals such as READY nutrition, USC Upstate administration and facilities, and student-athletes we really created something special. The physical structure not only fits us and who we are, but what it represents is the direction that our athletic department is heading and moving forward into the future. I want to give a special thanks to our student-athletes, Dr. Kelly, Cody Godfrey, Fred Scott, Jeff Crane, Nathan Dixon, READY Nutrition especially James Beauford, Morgan Vetter and our Exercise Science department to start. The fueling station opens doors for USC Upstate athletics to not only achieve success in sport, but also in the classroom helping to nurture healthy lifestyle awareness and choices."

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