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Penn State Athletics To Provide $500,000-$750,000 Annually For Enhanced Nutritional Options For Student-Athletes

by on October 05, 2014 6:00 AM

Beginning this fall, Penn State’s 31 athletic teams will have access to Enhanced Fueling Stations located throughout athletic facilities according to a new intuitive announced this week.

Penn State athletics will commit between $500,000-$750,000 annually to this new nutritional benefit, allowing each of Penn State’s teams access to an even healthier and sport-specific set of nutritional choices.

"The welfare of our student-athletes is a top priority," said Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. "With the change in the NCAA rules in this area, we are now able to provide enhanced nutritional options for our student-athletes. These stations will not only fuel them on the playing field, but also in the classroom, which is equally as important. We are delighted to bring this new asset to the Penn State student-athlete experience."

The stations will include a variety of carbohydrates, proteins and Gatorade products according to a new release. Both carbs and proteins are considered an important aspect of the health and well-being of athletes on campus. The new services will be in addition to the already existing meal plans provided to many student-athletes.

Director of Sports Nutrition Kris Clark says, “Energy needs of athletes who train two or three times a day are substantial. Fueling stations strategically located at the sites where they work out will provide the necessary calories to help them get through a two- or three-hour workout in the middle of the day or very early in the morning. Once the workout is over, the nutritious snacks available will jump start recovery getting them fueled for the next workout.”

This new directive is the first step in Penn State’s continuing effort to maximize the nutritional health of all its student-athletes. The University says it will continue to explore other options to develop the most effective plans to address the varied and specific nutritional needs for all 31 of its sports.

“The caloric expenditures for our sport are very high, said Penn State head men’s soccer coach Bob Warming. “The combination of and volume of sprinting and running is higher than almost any sport. Penn State's new commitment to fund the additional calories essential to help them recover properly from the rigors of our sport and be properly fueled for their academic responsibilities is a game changer.”

The new programs were put in place after the NCAA announced new guidelines this past April which allow student-athletes to receive unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their participation in sports programs. The rule applies to walk-ons as well as scholarship athletes.

“The fueling stations that we are providing our athletes is just another area where Penn State strives to be the best,” said head softball coach Amanda Lehotak. “We know the importance of nutrition in regards to winning championships and finding success in the classroom. This program will make a big difference for our student-athletes in terms of allowing them increased access to quality nutritional choices throughout the day. “



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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