Bobcats take on Nutrition

By on September 5, 2012

The Twitter account you should follow to eat smarter

If you are not already following @BobcatNutrition, you might want to start, especially if you are an athlete. The Twitter account is a quick and easy way to start eating healthier and smarter.

Created in January by Quinnipiac’s sports dietician, Dana White, Bobcats Nutrition tweets healthy eating tips as well as recipes targeted toward athletes and college students.

“I think the coaches can benefit from it, the athletes can certainly benefit from it,” White said. “It’s not just for athletes…I’m always doing healthy recipes. Anyone who is interested at all in nutrition and/or exercising can benefit from the tweets that I’m sending out.”

Quinnipiac did not ask White to make the account; rather she took the initiative herself when she saw other schools such as Auburn University and University of Oregon posting similar tweets from nutritional accounts. Together, the schools interact over Twitter to spread the advice from one school to the next and inform the athletes, as well as the student body and faculty, over social media.

The Quinnipiac alumna began promoting her account by sending emails to the athletic training students with the thought that these students work directly with the Bobcat athletes on campus, as well as off. If they were informed and given nutritional knowledge, they could give direct advice to the athletes and answer any questions they have.

Tweeting is not the only way the certified athletic trainer spreads her knowledge. Since becoming a full-time faculty member at Quinnipiac in January, White has and will continue to meet with each athletic team at least once a semester.

“I work it out with the coaches and give team nutrition talks,” the Bobcats Nutrition tweeter said. “If it is the first time I have met with the team, we go over very basic nutrition. For some of the teams, I have already met with them a couple of times in the year and then I try to broaden what we are talking about and do something different.”

On top of her team-based nutrition sessions, White also does one-on-one counselings with athletes who seek a specific need. In addition, she gives seminars to the freshman athletes to try and catch them up with the upperclassmen who have already had the nutrition lectures.

After creating Bobcats Nutrition, White was approached by head strength and conditioning coach Brijesh Patel with an idea. Patel, better known as “Coach B,” gave White the idea of an athletic cookbook that would be distributed to all student athletes.

“We did a chapter on stacking your kitchen and if you’re in a dorm room we did chapters like breakfast, lunch, things like that,” White said. “Then we did (a chapter on) shakes and a whole chapter on microwave cooking for people that can’t cook or don’t have access to a full kitchen or anything like that.”

White completed the book over the summer and it was distributed to the student athletes during the first week of classes.

She is familiar with writing as she writes a blog for the Food Network called healthyeats.com.

“I’ve worked with them for almost five years and do a lot of things for them,” White said. “But as part of my private practice, Dana White Nutrition, I am sometimes called to give quotes on magazine articles.”

White has written articles for Seventeen, Shape and Today’s Dietitian to name a few. On top of that, she also wrote an article for Maxim magazine discussing healthier options for super bowl snacks.

While some of the recommendations White gives are obvious, such as staying away from sodas, others may come as a surprise. The women’s soccer team couldn’t be happier with its team nutrition talk which allows players to have rice krispy treats at halftime of their games.

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About Joe Addonizio

Sports Editor
Email: < Twitter: @tenaciousjoe
Year: 2013
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Southbury, Conn.
Dream Job: Front office position with a MLB, NBA or NHL team