Nutrition


Dr. Melinda Wells Valliant
Assistant Professor in Nutrition
Sports Dietitian

Frank Newell
Sports Dietitian

Athlete Nutrition Assessment & Screening
Each new student-athlete who joins an Ole Miss athletic team will be screened to obtain nutrition and diet histories and current practices. This will be done for entering freshmen and transfer students. Nutrition assessments may also be done during preseason physicals for current Ole Miss student-athletes. The Ole Miss sports dietitian will conduct a thorough nutrition assessment on student-athletes determined to be at nutritional risk. Ole Miss student-athletes can meet with the sports dietitian for follow-up counseling if there are any issues that are cause for concern. Baseline body composition measurements may be taken in order to identify student-athletes who may be nutritionally at-risk and ensure proper action is taken.

Individual Nutrition Education & Counseling
Because each student-athlete has different needs, one-on-one sessions with the sports dietitian will be available. Ole Miss student-athletes have the opportunity to receive individualized nutrition education and counseling and personalized meal plans. The Ole Miss sports dietitian will assess student-athletes dietary intake and provide recommendations to assist with reducing nutrition-related health or performance issues. The sports dietitian works with Ole Miss student-athletes on a number of topics: weight loss, gain or maintenance goals; injury nutrition; chronic fatigue; supplement use; medical nutrition therapy for athletes with diabetes mellitus, celiac disease, anemia, allergies/intolerances, etc.; disordered eating or eating disorders; off-season nutrition; hydration; adequate calorie consumption; and label reading for better food selection.

Team Education
Team education is provided by the sports dietitian by a variety of avenues: team talks; workshops; educational handouts; social media (Twitter and/or Facebook); locker room posters and newsletters. Team education sessions and materials aim to increase Ole Miss student-athletes’ nutrition knowledge as well as their desire to learn more and make behavior changes. Workshops may include cooking demonstrations, grocery store tours, dining hall tours or team cooking competitions. These types of workshops will give Ole Miss student-athletes hands-on experience with choosing and/or preparing nutritious foods.

The sports dietitian is available at the request of the coaches for team talks and presentations that will provide sport-specific nutrition-information to Ole Miss student-athletes. Team talks are held as often as the coach deems necessary (weekly, biweekly, monthly, per semester, etcetera) and cover topics chosen by the coach, team or sports dietitian.

Body Composition Analysis
Body composition analysis using the Bod Pod can be performed to monitor trends and identify student-athletes who may have excessively low or high levels of non-lean body mass which can be detrimental to health and athletic performance. Body composition analysis can also provide the sports dietitian and student-athlete with important information relating to adequate intake.

Implementation of a Hydration & Electrolyte Protocol
Proper hydration is crucial for any athlete, but especially those practicing in a climate such as that in Oxford, Ole Miss and the Southeast. The sports dietitian can assist with implementing a hydration and electrolyte protocol in which Ole Miss student-athletes’ sweat rates are determined via pre- and post-practice weights, those at risk for cramping will be identified and individualized hydration plans will be developed.

Pre-game/Post-game & Travel Meal Planning & Coordination
What a student-athlete eats before and after practice, training and games, and during tournaments, makes a difference in their strength, speed, agility and endurance; ability to focus and recover; and plays a role in their injury risk. The Ole Miss sports dietitian makes recommendations for appropriate pre- and post-game meals and snacks and assists in arranging for pre- and post-game meals for home competitions.

Additionally, having to travel to unfamiliar locations interferes with an Ole Miss student-athlete’s ability to fuel properly for competition. The sports dietitian is able to advise those making travel meal plans for teams traveling for competitions. This may range from contacting and setting up reservations and special menus for teams at restaurants, to providing teams with lists of “best choices” at restaurants near the hotel or competition venue.

Food Service & Menu Development
The sports dietitian will work with the future training table staff at Ole Miss to develop menus that provide healthful, yet appetizing, meal selections for Ole Miss student-athletes. The sports dietitian will assist the Ole Miss athletics department on what is needed to implement a successful training table.

The sports dietitian will check that food is prepared and displayed appropriately to ensure food safety measures are being followed. The sports dietitian will be available at the training table to help Ole Miss student-athletes select foods based on their nutrition or weight goals. The sports dietitian will educate on food selection to help Ole Miss student-athletes make good choices on their own, outside of the training table.

The sports dietitian will be in charge of a “Fueling Station” that will provide Ole Miss student-athletes with nutritionally appropriate and NCAA compliant pre- and post-workout snacks to ensure proper fueling and recovery. The sports dietitian can be responsible for the purchasing of items, the inventory and budget for the “Fueling Station”.

The Ole Miss sports dietitian will also develop menus for athletic teams’ preseason camps, bowl game preparations or other necessary events. These menus will ensure the student-athletes will be receiving quality fuel during these times of preparation.

Prospective Athlete Recruitment & Retention
The sports dietitian will contribute to Ole Miss recruitment and retention by offering services that only a limited number of NCAA Division I athletic programs provide. The sports dietitian is available to meet with recruits and their parents to answer questions about the nutritional services afforded to Ole Miss student-athletes. Having a sports dietitian on the Ole Miss athletics staff will show recruits and their families that Ole Miss values the recruits’ ability to perform at their best, as well as their overall health. This will contribute to recruit retention because the recruit will see how the nutrition services provided can give him or her a potential competitive edge, and the parents will gain peace of mind knowing their child is being cared for on many different levels.

E-resources for Athletes
The sports dietitian will make nutrition information available to Ole Miss student-athletes by developing a sports nutrition section on the website. Ole Miss student-athletes will be able to access the sports nutrition section to retrieve helpful handouts and learn about current trends in sports nutrition and healthy eating. The current trends section will be updated regularly, presenting the newest research relating to sports nutrition. The contact information for the sports dietitian will be available on the website so Ole Miss student-athletes can easily schedule appointments or ask questions.

Multidisciplinary Team Member
The sports dietitian is an integral member of the Ole Miss athletics department, working as part of a team alongside coaches, operations directors, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, physicians and sports psychologists. Having a sports dietitian on staff helps to ensure comprehensive care for Ole Miss student-athletes. The team approach allows the sports dietitian to be involved in all aspects of the Ole Miss student-athletes’ care, and be well-aware of any past or current health issues. The sports dietitian makes a point to attend practices, workouts and games/competitions.

The sports dietitian is a critical member of the eating disorder treatment team helping athletes with conditions such as anorexia, bulimia or other disordered eating issues.

08/14/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

Sports Psychology Provides Mental Edge For...

Ole Miss is one of just three Southeastern Conference athletic departments with a full-time clinical or counseling sports psychologist on staff, along with Vanderbilt and LSU, and one of less than ... Read More [+]

07/31/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

New Facility, Staffing For Ole Miss...

When head football coach Hugh Freeze arrived at Ole Miss, he started requiring breakfast every morning for his players. It not only paid off with a 7-6 season, but it also helped push forward plans... Read More [+]

07/22/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

Resolution Reached in Bennie Abram Case...

The lawsuit concerning the death of former University of Mississippi student-athlete Bennie Abram has been settled with no finding of fault against the university's athletics program, its athletic ... Read More [+]

07/18/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

More Intensity, Faster Tempo In Year Two...

Paul Jackson arrives at his office in the Indoor Practice Facility just before 6 a.m. on Friday morning. Read More [+]

06/13/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

Katie Breathitt Named Muscle Milk Athlete ...

Ole Miss senior track & field/cross country runner Katie Breathitt was recently honored as the Muscle Milk Female Athlete of the Year by the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association ... Read More [+]

05/31/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

SEC Announces Update On Concussions

In June of 2012, the SEC Presidents and Chancellors formed a "Working Group on Concussions," charged with reviewing available research, evaluating diagnosis guidelines, identifying standards of... Read More [+]

04/05/2013 - Health and Sports Performance

WLBT: Ole Miss QB's Re-Injury Risk Lowered...

WLBT's Stephanie Bell-Flynt recently reported on Bo Wallace's clavicle surgery and the rehab process. Read More [+]

11/13/2012 - Health and Sports Performance

Ole Miss Athletics Creates Health And...

Ole Miss' athletic trainers begin treatment and rehabilitation as early as 6 a.m. and are available until the last student-athlete is finished with practice or competition. There are currently six ... Read More [+]

11/13/2012 - Health and Sports Performance

Jones Chairing SEC Working Group On...

The Southeastern Conference has assembled a working group, chaired by Ole Miss Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones, to research and evaluate sports-related concussions as it relates to the SEC. It was... Read More [+]

11/13/2012 - Health and Sports Performance

Miller Joins Freeze's Support Staff

Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze boasts great experience in his support staff, particularly with the addition of John Miller as Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations.

Read More [+]

Facebook
Twitter
Blog
  • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 15-21, 2014)

    Monday, December 22, 2014 - Athletics

    Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Dec. 15-21, 2014 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss overcame a 17-point deficit to knock off Coastal Carolina 71-68 Thursday night. - Senior LaDarius White scored a career-high 26 points including a career-best 6 3-pointers... read more

  • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 21

    Sunday, December 21, 2014 - Athletics

    The students were off for the first week of winter break, but Observations from the Best Seat in the House presses on, as the football team moves closer to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the men's and women's basketball teams... read more

  • Wallace Looks to Make More History

    Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

    Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

  • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

    Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

  • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

    Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

    Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

  • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

    Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

    Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

  • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

    Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

    With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

  • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

    Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

    read more

  • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

    Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

  • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

    Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

    Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

  • Testing One, Two, Three

    Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

    While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

  • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

    Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

    In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

  • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

    The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

  • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

    Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

  • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

    Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more