Dietary assistance absent on campus

An up-and-coming trend among universities nation wide is the ability to access a full-time sports nutritionist.

As of now, varsity athletes along with all students at UVM do not have a full time sports nutritionist.

However they do have access to Candace Polzella.

Polzella works as a certified sports dietetics specialist at the Center for Health and Wellbeing.

The nutritionist works with UVM athletic trainers and the sports medicine staff to improve the wellness of the athletes and assist the team as a whole.

Polzella is available to athletes, as well as all eligible students at the University, by appointment.

She takes on the role of the sports nutritionist for UVM by holding team consultations and working with the athletic trainers.

Sports nutritionists have a wide range of duties from scheduling meals on the road, to providing individual or team dietary intake plans and much more, Marcia Bristow said.

Bristow is a registered dietitian and lecturer of sports nutrition at UVM.

Bristow also encourages students of all athletic abilities to take the sports nutrition class that is offered at the University.

“Sports nutrition helps students understand scientifically based nutrition and exercise physiology principles that support and enhance training, performance and recovery,” she said.

Athletes often have detailed plans for their physical training but a plan for their nutritional needs is some times overlooked, Bristow said.

Joe Gervais is the supervisor for the athletic performance center and liaison with athletic medicine at UVM.

He said that it is “difficult” for the athletes to set up an appointment at the Center for Health and Wellbeing because of time constraints and busy student schedules.

UVM has had a full-time sports nutritionist in the past, however due to budget cuts the school was no longer able to continue the position.

If the funds do become available in the future Gervais said he hopes to be able to fill the position and give athletes nutrition education to go hand in hand with physical training.

Sports nutrition teaches the role of nutrition in achieving optimal performance and to understand the three critical periods of nutrition day-to-day, Bristow said.

These periods are the pre-event, during an event and post-event,” Bristow said.

However, until there comes a time when there is a full-time sports nutritionist available to the students and Division I athletes at UVM, Polzella and Bristow are resources that can be used by all students on campus.