Sports Nutrition

Dairy can play an important role in an active lifestyle. Learn more below.

Nutrition Periodization

by Jessica Redmond, MS, RDN, CSCS

Changing your nutrition plan according to your training needs is called Nutrition Periodization. Jessica Redmond talks about what your pre-season, in-season and off-season plates should look like in this video.

Score with Your Nutrition Pour

by Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN 

There are many options in the the dairy aisle at the grocery store, but it doesn’t mean they are all the same. Important criteria to think about is cost and four key nutrients: Protein, Calcium, Vitamin D and Potassium. Choose cow’s milk every time!

Anti-inflammatory Foods

by Heidi Skolnik, MS, CDN, FACSM 

Inflammation happens inside your body over time. Latest research shows it has more to do with your gut health. Fermented foods like yogurt and kefir are some great food choices that can keep inflammation at bay inside your body. Watch Heidi’s video below to learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet:

Other Ways to Use Whey Protein

by Leslie Bonci, MPH,RD,CSSD, LDN

Whey protein is found in milk, cheese and yogurt. In addition, there are many other ways you might find it in the grocery store. Can you guess what they are? Watch the video to see if you’re right!


Building a Balanced Smoothie

by Heather Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Start your day the right way, with a balanced breakfast! This Simple Strawberry Smoothie only has five ingredients. Watch the video below to find out what they are.


Don’t Fear Fats

by Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN

Fat is actually an important part of an athlete’s diet. Without fat in the diet, athletes would not be able to absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. All of these vitamins are essential for good health and a deficiency in these vitamins may decrease performance. Fat is your friend, not your enemy! More about why you shouldn’t fear fats.

Chocolate milk: the perfect post-workout drink

Milk is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which replenishes the glycogen that your muscles lose during a workout. Milk is also a great source of protein, which helps your muscles to recover. Studies show that milk may help reduce muscle damage and improve muscle recovery, which can help you perform better during your next workout. Check out the video below to learn more about this delicious recovery beverage!

Molly MorganFoods for Gut Health and the Athlete Connection

by Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD

Scientists are studying what food and beverages can impact gut health. While there is still a lot to learn, what is becoming increasingly clear is that having a wide diversity of bacteria in the gut seems to be a good thing, so including foods and beverages that could boost the diversity of good bacteria could benefit your gut health. Learn more about gut health and try the following recipe at home!

Tart Cherry Kefir – Drink Your Way to Gut Health

Serves 2 (1 cup each)tart cherry kefir

Tart cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory impact on the body. Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University presented a small study of 20 women with inflammatory arthritis (osteoarthritis); it showed that having 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks led to a reduction in inflammation markers. Similar inflammation reduction has been found among athletes who added tart cherry juice while training for long distance running, and the runners experienced less pain. When shopping for tart cherry juice, opt for 100 percent tart cherry juice to gain the maximum health benefits.


  • 1 cup frozen dark cherries
  • 1/2 cup plain kefir
  • 1/2 cup 100 percent tart cherry juice
  • 4 or 5 ice cubes


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until icy and smooth.

Divide between 2 glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 110 calories, 1/2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 4 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 10% vitamin C, 4% iron

Fueling Essentials for the Lactose Intolerance Athlete

Milk and dairy foods provide an essential source of high-quality protein and calcium for athletesDownload a new locker room tip sheet for lactose intolerant athletes here.

Power Performance with Protein

Athletes require more protein than the average person. Download this new locker room tip sheet to help your athletes power up their performance!

New “Wheys” to Boost and Spread Protein Throughout the Day


Whey protein is great for post-exercise recovery because it contains all of the essential amino acids, including high amounts of leucine, which helps to rebuild muscle. One tablespoon of whey protein provides 4g protein. Check out National Dairy Council’s new infographic.

Don’t Let Winter D-Prive You 

vitamin D

During the winter months, we spend less time outdoors and have less exposure to the sun which is one of the ways the body makes Vitamin D.  Without sunlight, the body relies on food sources to get this essential nutrient. Vitamin D has two major functions – enabling the immune system to fight infections and allowing the body to properly absorb calcium to build strong bones. Check out the video to find out which foods are a good source of D.


Too Busy for Breakfast? Think Again.

Coaches and health professionals agree – fueling your day Is non-negotiable. Breakfast breaks the overnight fast and kickstarts your mind and body for a day of action.

Don’t believe us? Sports nutrition expert Heather Mangieri lays out the facts and shares quick breakfast ideas for folks on the go:

Looking for Quick Breakfast Ideas? We got ya covered:

Snack Attack

Kelley SpringerSnacking is a great way to fuel the body and keep hunger in check. Choosing healthy snacks can be overwhelming given the countless options available on store shelves. Remember to keep it simple and plan ahead! Get tips from sports nutrition expert Kelly Springer.






Going All The Whey!

Making the most of practices includes post workout nutrition to replenish the body. Sports nutrition expert, Leslie J. Bonci, a consultant for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Chiefs and member of the Whey Protein Advisory Panel, explains why athletes should “go all the whey” after workouts.


lactose-intoleranceFor Athletes with Lactose Intolerance: Eliminating Dairy is Not the Right Move



Nutrition Basics for Athletes 101

headshotAs kids head back to school, for many that also means back to busy sports schedules.  Coaches say that one component of sports training that is often overlooked, but can have a major impact on performance, is nutrition. In this video, sports nutrition expert and board certified specialist in sports dietetics, Heather Mangieri, shares advice on balancing menus to include the right combination of nutrients for well-nourished athletes.





Buffalo Bills’ Strength & Conditioning Coach Shares Advice for Training Camp Recovery

dan-liburd-3American Dairy Association and the Buffalo Bills have been working together for years to educate student athletesadcm2 on the important role proper nutrition plays in training and performance. Bills’ Strength & Conditioning Coach Dan Liburd says replenishing essential nutrients after long workouts is crucial to combat muscle breakdown and fight stress that comes with heavy exercise.  View his advice here.




Cornell University’s 1,100 Athletes Refuel With Chocolate Milk

wattenberg_clint_15Cornell University Coordinator of Sports Nutrition Clint Wattenberg, serves 37 Big Red teams and approximately 1,100 bigredrefuelstudent athletes.  According to Wattenberg, “The composition of low-fat chocolate milk is probably the gold standard for a recovery beverage.” Wattenberg worked with Cornell Dairy’s world-class food scientists to develop Big Red Refuel, a protein fortified chocolate milk that serves as the primary refuel beverage/snack for Big Red athletes after they lift and train. The American Dairy Association asked Wattenberg to create locker room tips sheets on refueling. Download Recovery food and Refuel tip sheets.



Sports Nutrition Panel Weighs in with Top Good Habits for Athletes

featured-march-expert-sport-nutrition-panelists-part2We asked our expert panel of sports nutritionists to name the top habits high school and college athletes should develop tofeatured-march-expert-sport-nutrition-panelists-part2-top-good-habits enhance performance. See what they had to say.

Read article.



Sports Nutrition Panel Offers Top Advice for High School & College Athletes

The American Dairy Association asked our expert panel of sports nutritionists to share their top advice for high school andbuilding-a-performance-enhancing-plate college athletes for National Nutrition Month. Find out what the top 3 foods they say high school athletes should include in their diet and the top 3 they say to limit.

Read article.


homepage-features-refuelwithchocolatemilk2Cornell Opens Big Red Fueling Station for Athletes

Cornell Provides Chocolate Milk to Athletes

Cornell joins growing college trend – spotlighting importance of nutrition for athletes by opening a Big Red Fueling Station offering nutrient rich foods like chocolate milk. Watch video.



Past Featured Articles:

Food Shopping For Performance  By Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN, sports nutrition expert and national media spokesperson on nutrition.

Eating to Prevent Injury By Heather Mangieri, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, owns Nutrition CheckUp, a nutrition consulting practice and is a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her advice has been featured in media including Fitness Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Running Magazine, ELLE, Woman’s Health Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today. Watch video!

Endurance for Basketball By Heidi Skolnik, M.S., C.D.N., FACSM, nutrition consultant to the New York Knicks Basketball Team, the New York Giants Football Team and the New York Mets Baseball Team.

Post Workout Recovery By Michelle D. Wright, M.S., R.D., CDE, CSSD, nutrition consultant for Rutgers University Athletic Department and Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Management at Hunterdon Medical Center.

Pre-Game Fuel By Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD, nutrition consultant for the Ottawa and Binghamton Senators (NHL/AHL hockey), blogger for and contributor to CNN, ESPN-Women, Fitness, Glamour, Health, Men’s Health, Readers Digest, Real Simple, Self, Shape and Women’s Health.

Breakfast By Clint Wattenberg, Coordinator of Sports Nutrition at Cornell University. View Recipe.

Preseason Football Tips from Buffalo Bills’ Strength & Conditioning Coach Dan Liburd The Bills’ Strength & Conditioning coach shares tips for preseason football. View Recipe.

Hydration By Leslie J. Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, sports dietitian for the University of Pittsburgh’s department of athletics, and nutrition consultant for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Chiefs and former sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Watch video!

Advice for Athletes Eating On The Run By Felicia D. Stoler, DCN, MS, RDN, FACSM, author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes, The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great, and former host of TLC’s Honey We’re Killing the Kids.


Refuel with Chocolate Milk Refuel - Got Chocolate Milk?

Milk is an effective exercise recovery drink. It supplies high-quality protein and power-packed nutrients that the body needs after a workout. Learn more about the role of milk in sports nutrition with these resources.

Cornell Opens Big Red Fueling Station For Athletes

What Are Top Collegiate Programs Feeding Their Runners?

Chocolate Milk for Recovery Tops the List of “Fitness Food to Add to your Clean Diet”

CBS Doctors Explain Why Chocolate Milk is Good for Athletes

East Brunswick High School Makes Chocolate Milk Available to Athletes

Miami Hurricanes’ Focus on Nutrition has Athletes Feeling Leaner, Healthier

App Fuel Stations Feature Unlimited Chocolate Milk for Athletes


health-wellness-resource-refuel-chocolate-milk-handoutRefuel: Got Chocolate Milk?

The science behind exercise recovery



health-wellness-resource-rethink-your-drink-essential-for-a-reasonReThink Your Drink
Compare milk’s nutrition to other beverages.



health-wellness-nutrition-in-unexpected-placesNutrition in Unexpected Places
White or chocolate, milk provides key nutrients that children and adolescents need after exercise.



health-wellness-resource-fueling-for-recoveryFueling for Recovery
Learn what foods can help improve athletic performance and fuel recovery.



health-wellness-resource-milk-natures-sport-drinkMilk: Nature’s Sports Drink
Learn about nature’s sports drink.



health-wellness-resource-rethink-your-drink-spanishReThink Your Drink (Spanish)
Compare milk’s nutrition to other beverages.



health-wellness-resource-2015-built-with-chocolate-milkBuilt with Chocolate Milk
Discover the science behind lowfat chocolate milk as a recovery beverage after a strenuous workout.



health-wellness-resource-nutrient-rich-foods-packing-more-nutrition-in-every-mealNutrient-Rich Foods: Packing More Nutrition in Every Meal
Suggestions for creating balanced meals that will help fuel your day with energy.



Whey Protein for Sports

A by-product of cheesemaking, whey protein has emerged as a nutrient powerhouse for athletes.

health-wellness-resource-whey-state-of-the-scienceState of The Science: The Power of Whey Protein
The latest science on whey protein for all ages.



health-wellness-resource-protein-and-exerciseSmall Steps Can Help Ensure Your Fitness Goals Muscle Matters for Your Health at Any Age
Learn how whey protein can help you reach your fitness goals.