Nutrition is a critical component of
• overall health
• optimal performance & training
• appropriate body composition
• injury prevention
• injury rehabilitation
• top academic performance & psychological well-being
The Gator Sports Nutrition Department is committed to providing cutting-edge nutritional education, counseling, food service, and supplementation to all Gator athletes.
Meals at the Training Table are designed with the competitive athlete's health and performance in mind. A typical menu includes a variety of healthy choices like the sample below.
Sample Dinner Menu
Fresh Fruit Bar
11 oz Sirloin Steak
Roasted Chicken Quarters
Baked Potato Bar
Steamed Broccoli w/ Cheese on Side
Corn Bread Squares
Wheat & Pumpernickel Rolls
Soft-Serve Yogurt Bar
The University of Florida's Athletic Association has two full time Sports Dietitians on staff that provide the following:
• Individual meal plans
• Training table (a dining facility open exclusively to athletes)
• Pre and post-competition and travel meals
• Nutrition supplements to improve health and performance
• One-on-one athlete counseling regarding nutrition periodization, weight gain, weight loss, hydration, supplement use, injury rehabilitation, post-college eating and overall healthier eating strategies
• Individual and team body composition analysis using the Bod Pod
• Team specific nutrition workshops and presentations (cooking classes, grocery store tours, etc.)
• Bulletin boards, newsletters, and stall stories
• Evaluation and recommendation of supplements conforming to the NCAA permissible nutritional supplement use
The Bod Pod is a new method to determine an athlete's body composition which is the ratio of lean body mass (body water, muscle, bone, heart, liver, kidneys, etc.) to body fat mass (essential and storage). Body composition reflects the results of both physical activity and nutritional practices.
"Fully believing no injury/illness or nutritional concern is too great nor too small to receive anything but our fullest attention in every detail, while functioning in a cost-efficient mode and within the confines of regulations set forth by the NCAA, SEC, the University of Florida, and the University Athletic Association and regardless of the time of day or night, it is the intent and purpose of the Sports Health Department to enhance health and improve performance and to provide our student-athletes the absolute best care possible. Also, to extend the courtesies and assistance to our outside competition in the same way we expect for our student-athletes."
The program is focused on prevention of athletic injuries. When injuries do occur, the Sports Health staff's job is to evaluate, provide immediate care, treat and rehabilitate the injury until the athlete is ready to return to the playing field in a safe, timely manner. Working with everyone involved is the key. Our goal is to provide world-class care to our athletes.
Located in the Ben Hill Griffin Athletic Training Center is the 8,700 square foot South End Zone athletic training room. This athletic training facility is among the finest in the nation. Included in the South End Zone athletic training room are a primary care physician office and an orthopedic physician office. A full variety of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation equipment is within the South End Zone's athletic training room. New for the 2006 football season was a 1,000 square foot athletic training room located at the practice fields. This athletic training room includes treatment tables, an ice machine, an ultrasound/electric stimulation unit and a taping station.
3D Motion Analysis
During prehab screening, the Sports Health Staff utilizes the motion analysis lab and its findings to address underlying problems that could eventually cause injury. The lab, located at Orthopedics Sports Medicine Institute across the street from the University of Florida, is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. The motion analysis and biomechanics facility features an 11-camera, three-dimensional infrared digital camera system. The same technology has been used extensively by Electronic Arts Video Game Design Company and major Hollywood motion picture studios. The system allows our researchers and analysts the ability to examine the biomechanics of our players' movements at an astonishing 500 images per second. This data is then compiled and placed in a data repository.
The Tiger Woods EA golf video game was created with the same technology used on Florida's athletes in the 3D Motion Analysis Lab.
The Football program uses the South End Zone Training Room, located beneath the stadium. Equipment in this room includes:
CorTemp Heat Monitoring Pills
Predominantly used during two-a-days with the new freshmen and those players known to have heat sensitivity. Heat stress and heat related illness are a real concern for athletes and their trainers, and may often be the underlying cause of heart attack and injury.
HQI's Core Body Temperature Monitoring System reveals vital information necessary for the prevention and treatment of heat related illness. The absence of catheters, probes and wire connections allow team physicians and trainers to wirelessly monitor the
core body temperature and heart rate of multiple athletes in real-time during field play or practice.
Proven by more than 15 years of use in the field, the CorTempT Physiological Monitoring System features an ingestible thermometer pill, a CorTempT ambulatory data recorder and a POLAR ® Heart Rate chest transmitter which delivers time-correlated core body temperature accurate to ± 0.1º C and heart rate accurate to ± 0.1 beats per minute.
CorTempT provides the physiological information critical to increasing productivity and protecting athletes.
Temperature Management System Shoulder Pads
Dr. Nik Gravenstein from the University of Florida came up with the concept of a pad that players could wear that would address the real issue of heat-related illness. This invention was brought to Fred Williams of Williams Sports Group, LLC of Jacksonville, Florida. Mr. Williams has invented numerous protective designs which are being used by numerous NFL and college football programs.
Fred Williams developed an 'air flow channel system' which, when built into the protective cushion of an existing shoulder pad would provide a unique system of air delivery. This system is the revolutionary new 'Temperature Management System' (TMS).
In the TMS system, cool, dry air effectively lowers his core body temperature, keeping it from rising to dangerous levels. The device was field tested by University of Florida research scientists and has been incorporated into the Douglas Custom Pro and Riddell Power Shoulder Pads.
Heat related illness is second only to head injuries as a cause of death among athletes in the United States.
The TMS system will replace the air across a players chest and back over 100 times per minute.
A rise in body temperature is also associated with a decline in athletic performance.
Biodex Isokinetic and Balance Machines
The athlete stands on the round Isokinetic plate with hydraulics underneath, and the platform is adjusted to be in various states, such as more flexible or sturdier. The player has a monitor screen in front of him, with a circular diagram in the form similar to a dart board. As the 'floor' moves, the player balances himself by keeping a dot on, or as close to the center of the screen in front of him.
The data gathered is used to measure muscle imbalances which could lead to potential injury if continual overcompensation is used by the athlete. This information is then passed along to the Strength and Conditioning staff so they can create a personalized program for the athlete that will help create better muscle balance.
Ultrasound and Electric Stimulation Units
Massage Therapy Station
Custom Mouth Guard Lab
Each football player will have a set of custom made mouth guards. It is estimated by the American Dental Association that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football alone, and is the leading preventor of serious concussions.
MedEx Low Back Rehabilitation Machine
The MedEx lumbar strengthening program is the first of its kind to isolate, measure and improve strength of the lower back including conditions of postoperative spine surgery and chronic back dysfunction.
Game Ready Cryotherapy/Compression Unit
Game Ready is an easy-to-use application of the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), the commonly accepted standard for treating acute and chronic soft tissue injuries and post-surgery tissue trauma. Traditionally, ice (cold) and compression are the most difficult parts of this regimen to effectively implement.
Game Ready leverages NASA spacesuit technology to simultaneously deliver intermittent cyclical compression and adjustable cold therapy in an all-in-one, easy-to-use system.
The system features a microprocessor-enabled, portable Control Unit that allows you to regulate pneumatic (air) pressure and time settings with just the push of several buttons, while enabling you to adjust temperature with just the twist of a dial. Treatment sessions can be customized based on patient needs.
A comprehensive range of anatomically designed Dual-Action Wraps brings adjustable cold and intermittent compression therapy to virtually every major body part.
SwimEx 700T Aquatic Therapy System
SwimEx resistance pools offer a complete isokinetic aquatic therapy system - putting rehabilitation programs into a new league. Starting with 0 to 30,000 gallons per minute, patients in initial stages of rehab can begin aquatic therapy sooner due to the buoyancy of water. Aquatic therapy results can be measured as patients graduate to progressive weight-bearing protocols using increasing water resistance. Aquatic therapy treatment can extend into a full range of training and conditioning.
Using aquatic therapy and training for all types of orthopedic injuries allows the injured body part to actively "rest" while the person maintains fitness levels and discovers rapid gains in the critical early stages of the healing and rehabilitative process. The unique properties of water - buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity and fluid dynamics - provide an excellent rehabilitative environment.