Today I’m excited to share a quick interview I recently did with sports nutrition expert Dr. Chris Mohr. In addition to being a fellow UMass alumn, Dr. Mohr has an impressive professional background, including being a consulting Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and an Expert Contributor to Reebok. He’s a Nutrition Spokesperson and Consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including – Discovery Health Channel, The Dairy Council, Clif Bar, & Nordic Naturals. He often appears on TV as a nutritional guest expert, including an appearance with Chef Emeril Lagasse. Lastly, he’s on the Advisory Board for Men’s Fitness Magazine and has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men’s Fitness, Weight Watchers, Men’s Health and Fitness, to name a few.
KN: Dr. Mohr, let’s dive right in. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see youth athletes make with their nutrition?
CM: Youth athletes don’t often make the connect between nutrition and performance. Most start the day without even eating breakfast. In fact, one time when giving a talk to one of the top ranking HS football teams in the country, I asked how many of them ate breakfast that morning. With close to 80 people in the room — 3 raised their hand. Now this talk was supposed to be about dietary supplements, but I asked that first because no supplement in the world will replace what’s lost in the diet. This is where youth athletes need ideas for quick and easy meals. Research shows they’re tired, stressed, bored and rushed; breakfast therefore is the last thing on their mind. A cup of Greek yogurt 2 minutes before leaving can work. Trail mix can work. A peanut butter and banana sandwich. They need quality calories, protein and some carbohydrates. There are a lot of options; it doesn’t need to be fancy.
KN: Speaking of supplements, what is your stance on supplements for youth athletes?
CM: I like to give and take a bit here. Young athletes will respond better to someone who listens versus someone who simply tells them “no.” Ask why they’re wondering about the particular supplement(s). Who they heard about them from and what they think it will do for them. This is another chance to talk about nutrition, but then a little give and take here – a protein supplement is certainly safe – share some great smoothie recipes. Fish oil is certainly safe and has merit. A multivitamin can also have some value. It doesn’t need to be as black and white as “supplements are good” or “no kids should be taking supplements.” The most important thing is that many youth athletes are interested in supplements and this offers an opportunity to discuss nutrition with them.
KN: If you had to make a single recommendation, what ONE dietary change do you think most youth athletes would benefit from?
CM: As I mentioned above, the overwhelming majority of youth athletes aren’t eating breakfast. Eating breakfast, EVERY DAY, will have the biggest impact on overall health and performance for most kids. They need to start the day with quality calories to “get their engine” running.
For more information on Dr. Mohr’s new program, check out this link: Complete Sports Nutrition
To your success,
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.