United States Aquatics Convention 2012
In September I had the opportunity to speak on a sports medicine panel at the United States Aquatics Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina. The panel consisted of myself as the expert in nutrition discussing the timing of nutrients necessary for optimal recovery, practical fueling foods, hydration needs, supplements for recovery, etc. Keenan Robinson, who is an athletic trainer at Michigan and traveled with the US swim team to the 2012 Olympics, was on the panel and talked about ways to prevent and treat injury in order to maximize recovery whether it be from a hard workout or multiple races in multiple sessions at a meet. Also on the panel was my husband, Nick Brunelli, who represented the athletes “vote” or opinion. He spoke from the perspective of someone who has tried most of the recommendations that were offered. Nick was able to provide more real life examples of the new practices Keenan and I proposed to coaches, athletes, and parents that were in attendance and how the changes had affected his performance and body.
As an athlete my entire life, I don’t remember it being easy to find current trends in training. I also dont remember having the opportunity to attend a convention like this that was offering the most current trends in training and nutrition based on research. We were able to meet and talk to many young athletes that paid out of their own pocket to attend this! Some even flew in from the west coast looking for tips and advice on how to be at their best. I was so impressed by the commitment of the coaches and their desire to bring home the latest advances in training and nutrition for their athletes.
The ability to share information has certainly become easier with all of our technology but it has also become more challenging to sift through so much information out there to really know what is proven and safe. Its easy to find someone promising you a miracle cure. Whether it be from a pill/powder ($19.99 and you will be the best swimmer ever AND the bottle is bright and shiny! come on now, we are smarter than that), the latest diet (I hate that word), or even the latest exercise craze (they always seem just a little more intense and crazy than the last), they don’t always work. And I will venture to say that most of the supplements, diets, and exercise crazes out there don’t help at all in the long run. If there is one piece of advice I can give in terms of recovery for now: talk to the health care professionals out there who can give you personalized, sport-specific tips on recovery based on research. I LOVE the fact that USA swimming is looking to EDUCATE coaches, parents, and athletes on how to have long term success! Thanks so much to everyone who put on this event, especially Stacey Michael-Miller with USA Swimming! Every time I get a chance to speak I feel lucky. If I can reach one person each time and help them achieve their goals, I am blessed to have been apart of their journey.
Below is the link to the handout and where it is posted to USA Swimming’s website.