Panthers TV tonight at 8pm on Time Warner Cable

Great time this morning with two great Panthers commentators, Jim Szoke and Mick Mixon, to talk sports nutrition for the Panthers.  Check it out tonight at 8pm on Time Warner Cable Sports.

pic with mick mixon

Jennifer Brunelli with Mick Mixon and Jim Szoke on Panthers TV

Sports Nutrition talk for middle school and high school athletes, parents, and coaches

Middle and high school student athletes have specialized needs to move from high school to college athletics. Students, parents, coaches and fitness professionals will learn from noted sports nutritionist Jennifer Brunelli the nutritional secrets to sports performance success!

Register for “Sports Nutrition for student athletes.” Middle and high school students, parents and coaches will learn about the fuel needed for high sports or athletic performance while preparing for college.

Charlotte Ultra Swim Arena presentation

Charlotte UltraSwim time again! Good luck to all competing! I am looking forward to speaking alongside some other great presenters including Olympian Rebecca Soni (teammate from our Scarlet days) in the Arena tent on Saturday for the “Moms Day Out.” I’ll be up from 11:30-12:30pm talking about nutrition for the family with athletes. Check out the flyer- hope to see some of you out there 🙂


Sports Nutrition Seminar for the Future College Athlete


Allow your student athlete the chance to be trained on how to succeed and stay fueled for 

high performance in a college or university setting.

Exit Counseling Flyer

Hosted at the United States Performance Center

May 19, 2013 from 2-3:30pm

Our student athletes are equipped with the knowledge and physical skills to get accepted into elite college and university athletic programs, but not the knowledge to stay successful and get better once they are there. This program offers student athletes the ability to learn what their needs are as college athletes, what to expect from their dining halls and meal plans, and what is expected of them by their coaches and professors as a student athlete when they arrive on any college campus. They will be given tangible ways to succeed in their new found independence as a college student athlete. There will be a Q+A time after the presentation when student athletes and parents can ask any pertinent questions.

Click on this link for the registration form and more info: High School Athlete Nutrition Exit Counseling

United States Masters Swimming Clinic- 2012

Masters athletes are a special breed.  Most maintain full time jobs so they are either working out before the sun comes up or after it has set.  Some even do doubles (2 workouts a day)!  What drives us to do this in our 30s, 40s, and beyond?  Depends.  Sometimes its the love of a specific sport or activity (swimming in my case), some just want to be in the best physical shape they can, some are actually training for something (triathletes, marathoners), and I am sure there are a number of other reasons.  No matter the reason, make no mistake – this group of athletes are ATHLETES!

I spoke at the United States Masters Swimming Clinic in Greensboro, NC back in September.  When I was talking with an athlete about how she was going to eat as she planned to train for a long distance open water race that would take more than 10+ hrs to complete, she giggled when I referred to her as an athlete!  Can you imagine!?  Someone who wants to put their body through hours of physical torture, would be in extremely cold water to the point of needing to gain a significant amount of body fat for her core temperature to maintain itself, and has already experienced what it can be like when things go wrong having had a brutal experience in her last competition forcing her to be hospitalized for days after the race!  Even if your not planning on doing anything that sounds that extreme, if your pretty consistently active give yourself some credit- you’re an athlete!

It doesn’t matter what age you are or what level you are competing at.  You’ll hear me say it alot on this blog or in talks- what you put in your body is what you get out of it.  And even if the goal of your physical activity is nothing more than to be healthy, fueling before and after you exercise is vital.  Fueling is especially important as we age and continue to challenge ourselves and recovery times can begin to take longer (man have I experienced those longer recovery times lately!).  The 20 or so swimmers at this clinic who ranged in age from 30’s to 60’s were training and competing regularly.    This is the second year I have had a chance to work with this clinic that is hosted by the United States Masters Swimming Organization and the Triangle Sports Commission.  Its a week long clinic that offers the athletes some of the most experienced masters coaches from around the country and brings in professionals in the fields of sports psychology, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, technique, resistance and flexibility training.  Including, who I will refer to and those in the sport of swimming know as Dr G- Genadijus Sokalovas, who is both a Masters Coach and head of Global Sport Technology, an aquatics athlete testing and analytics company based in Colorado Springs, CO ( hes an amazing guy and has been involved in the sport of swimming in the US for a very long time).

So- now that you have some background on masters athletes and this clinic, here are some of the focal points as far as the physical and nutritional needs of these athletes.  Masters athletes experience:

  • a loss of skeletal muscle over time therefore a loss of strength,
  • a decline in VO2max (This is a persons capacity to perform sustained exercise, this is generally considered one of the best indicators of cardiorespiratory endurance and aerobic fitness.  Elite endurance athletes typically have a high VO2 max.),
  • loss of bone mass therefore increased risk for injury,
  • decreased metabolism,
  • and other concerns such as menopause.

Through nutrition we are able to combat some of these issues.  To date…research suggests that older athletes have no significantly different nutrition needs if they are healthy other than to optimize their sports diet so they’ll have every possible edge over younger folks.  That being said here are a few pointers for you masters athletes out there that might be helpful:

  • with a loss of muscle mass over time as we age it is important to maintain sufficient protein intake before, during, and after activity (most need to consume 15-30 grams pre and post activity, ie 3 oz of chicken is about 30 grams of protein and a tbsp of peanut butter is about 4 grams just for a reference)
  • have balanced meals- that means carbohydrate, protein, and fat in every meal.  Don’t go on one of these crazy diets restricting a food group and expect lasting results
  • have reasonably sized meals- be prepared after a workout to be hungry and have a snack in your swim bag.  Otherwise you will find yourself in a drive through line or overeating at the meal after that great workout you just had!
  • try to consume frequent meals- meaning 5-6 small meals daily (the whole concept of only eating 3 meals a day is OVER!)
  • drink fluids with every meal and in between them.  The body is 60-65% water so drink up!
  • a slight increase in fiber can help with gut motility (increased fiber = increased fluid needs)
  • fruits and vegetables can help increase immune function and keep you healthy
  • supplementation with vitamins and minerals may be necessary for healthy GI function (calcium, iron, zinc B6, and B12)
  • calcium, vitamin D (sun), and stress on the skeleton can help avoid low bone density
No matter what your age- you can be an athlete!
*Thanks to Hill Carrow of the Triangle Sports Commission for getting me involved with this great clinic!