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Help Your Clients Fuel Like The Pros

Members of Player Health & Performance for a professional football team share fueling tips.

Fueling with real CA milk

With fall sports kicking off and world-class athletic events having just wound down, it’s safe to say fueling up and recovery are top of mind for many.

The California Milk Advisory Board worked exclusively with two members of Player Health and Performance for a professional football team—myself, Jordan Mazur, MS, RD, Nutrition Director, and my colleague Dustin Little, ATC, PT, DPT, CSCS, Head Athletic Trainer—to bring you these tips and easy-to-use assets to help your clients and active people of all fitness levels and ages fuel like the pros.

Understanding the Role of Functional Foods for Recovery, Repair and Rebuilding

Have you heard a food be called “functional”? Functional foods are foods that provide multiple nutrients per serving and can have a positive effect on the body’s ability to recover and repair from training and workouts.

Depending on the intensity of exercise, your clients will be recovering from free radicals, acute inflammation, and muscle and tissue damage following activity. Guiding them toward foods with the proper nutrients will help to support or even accelerate this process. These are considered functional foods, including real California dairy foods, for both fueling and recovery:

  • cottage cheese
  • yogurt
  • milk (e.g., chocolate milk)
  • grapes
  • blueberries
  • oatmeal
  • pistachios

For example, a cup of real milk provides 13 essential nutrients and all nine essential amino acids. Research suggests that this dairy nutrient matrix has performance and recovery benefits beyond the individual supplementation of the same nutrients on bone and muscle health.

This video can help your clients understand how functional foods kick-start the body’s repair and recovery from workouts, training or competition:

Helping Clients Eat to Compete

For your clients, it’s important to help them understand that their body’s “workout” doesn’t stop after their workout—muscle is also built and recovered in the kitchen. More specifically, their muscles, ligaments and joints are constantly in recovery and repair mode throughout the day and even on off days.

Dustin Little

I cover all this in my all-in-one client guide to plan meals for steady energy levels throughout the day to maximize performance. Here is what my colleague Dustin has to say about this topic:

“Guides like this are vital to the success of our players by facilitating multidisciplinary workshops or training table events that bring together our athletic trainers and sports dietitians to ensure our athletes gain self-efficacy in the fueling and recovery behaviors needed to compete on and off the field.

Holding these types of events ensures we’re breaking through to our athletes with the proper nutrition for injury prevention, rehab and performance throughout the season— especially with functional foods like real California dairy.”

2021 Eating To Compete With Dairy

Get the guide here.

From the Performance and Recovery Kitchen: Easy Recipes for Clients



2021 Performance and Recovery Board


2021 Performance and Recovery Snack Pack

Get The Recipe Here Get The Recipe Here


I developed these easy recipes to enhance the already popular and familiar “cheese boards” and “snack packs” that active people at all levels can use to fuel throughout the day.

Encourage your clients to make these recipes on days off when they’re socializing (sharing board) or traveling (snack pack). This makes sure there are no off days from fueling the body with functional and nutrient-dense foods like real California dairy.

For athletes who suspect a sensitivity or intolerance to lactose, these are great teaching recipes because they stress flexibility in food choice and use low- to no-lactose real dairy products, like hard cheeses.

Head to the Real California Milk Health, Wellness, and Fitness Professionals Hub for the latest evidence and scientifically-backed resources.

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