Refuel, Repair, Recover: Can Protein Quality Change the Game?

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Protein intake is often top of mind for athletes who are looking to optimize athletic performance and gain a competitive edge. Sports dietitians are uniquely positioned to provide education on nutrient timing and protein quality to ensure athletes are fueling for success. Research shows that essential amino acids play an integral role in building, maintaining, and repairing muscle, but does the source of protein consumed – animal- vs. plant-based – impact muscle health? Join us for a rich discussion with an expert panel of internationally recognized protein researchers, including Nancy Rodriguez, PhD, RDN, CSSD, FASCM and Stephan van Vliet, PhD. The panel will be moderated by Kim Schwabenbauer, MS, RDN, CSSD, a former professional triathlete, who will help translate this emerging research into practical application.


Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the scientific research surrounding protein quality of animal- and plant-based proteins for muscle synthesis
2. Articulate optimal nutrient timing for muscle repair, recovery, and maintenance
3. Develop evidence-based recommendations for protein consumption that supports athletic performance

Performance Indicators:
• 8.1.3 Integrates knowledge of macronutrients and micronutrients for absorption, digestion and metabolism throughout the life span in practice.
• 8.4.1 Plans and designs nutritionally sound meals, menus and meal plans that meet customer needs and demand and that promote health and disease management.
• 8.1.4 Demonstrates knowledge of nutrient requirements throughout the life span and their role in health promotion and disease management

Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (Accredited Provider CP294) is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to provide continuing education to Registered Dietitians. This program is eligible for 1.25 CPEU.
Participants can provide feedback on the quality of the session content directly to CDR by contacting [email protected].


Presenter Bios:
Nancy Rodriguez, a faculty member at the University of Connecticut, Storrs since 1991, is a Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR) with joint appointments in the Departments of Kinesiology and Allied Health Sciences.  She directs the Sports Nutrition program at the University and for the Department of Sports Medicine in the Division of Athletics.  Dr. Rodriguez served as Chair of University of Connecticut Institutional Review Board for the Use of Human Subjects (IRB) from 2004-2008.
Dr. Rodriguez’s research program focuses on relationships between exercise, protein intake, energy balance, and protein utilization in athletes, physically active adults, and healthy obese and non-obese children. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Physiology, Metabolism, Journal of Nutrition, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Dr. Rodriguez currently teaches sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, and the protein component of the graduate course, Macronutrients. She also participates in the department faculty rotation for graduate seminar in nutrition and the undergraduate writing course.
Dr. Rodriguez received her B.S. in Human Nutrition and Foods at Virginia Tech.  She earned her MS in nutrition and a PhD in biochemistry at West Virginia University. She spent two years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Rodriguez is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition, the American Dietetic Association and its Dietetic Practice Group – Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physiological Society.  In 2014 Dr. Rodriguez was appointed to a 3 year term on the Science Board for the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Stephan Van Vliet, Postdoctoral Associate, Human physiologist studying the effects of food and physical activity on human health.
Dr. van Vliet earned his PhD in Kinesiology and Community Health as an ESPEN Fellow from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received post-doctoral training at the Center for Human Nutrition in the Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine. Dr. van Vliet also holds a Masters in Nutrition Science.
Currently a member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute within the Duke University School of Medicine, his work focuses on the effects of primary (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins) and secondary compounds (phytochemicals, polyphenols, antioxidants) and the molecular mechanisms by which they impact human metabolism. His work often also involves physical activity interventions and utilizes an integrative approach to improve human health.
Dr. van Vliet performs clinical and translational studies to evaluate the effects of whole food ingestion and physical activity interventions on body composition, physical function, inflammation, insulin action, and intracellular signaling pathways involved in regulating muscle mass with advancing age. His work has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of Nutrition, and the Journal of Physiology.

Kim Schwabenbauer, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, is a 2016 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Exercise Science program, 2002 graduate of Penn State University’s Undergraduate Nutrition program, and a 2003 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dietetic Internship program.
As an assistant professor of nutrition at Clarion University, Kim shares her love and passion for health and wellness with the bright young minds of tomorrow while running a successful business.  Her work as a triathlon coach, professional triathlete, personal trainer and board-certified specialist in sports nutrition drove her to found her personal sports nutrition counseling & endurance coaching business, “Fuel Your Passion.”  Kim speaks to companies, conference attendees and professional sports teams on nutrition, motivation and lifestyle changes.  She's also appeared on national television as a registered dietitian and coach for the hit TV show, MTV “Made,” was a featured Dietitian on Zonya’s Healthbites on PBS and on many local news affiliates as a dietitian expert.  She writes for various print and online publications, and has been quoted in Women’s Health,, USA Triathlon, LAVA and Triathlete just to name a few. Kim also models on a national scale for companies such as Gatorade, Fisher Price, Dick’s Sporting Good, Pilates Power Gym and Giant Eagle.
Kim completed her first Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) in 2008, and has since completed 15 Ironmans, including four times at the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii, and over 60 triathlons.  In 2014, she was ranked top twenty in the world among female professional triathletes.