Baseball Nutrition: How to Hit a Homerun!

Next Level Podcast with Host Tavis Piattoly, MS, RD, LD

Jenna Corbin- Podcast

Jenna Corbin, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, CLT, PES, CES
Registered/Licensed Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. She has worked with many athletes from grade-school age to professional. Before leaving California, she was the Team Sports Dietitian for UCLA Athletics; sports nutritionist for Athletes’ Performance.

Jenna is a Registered/Licensed Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. She has worked with many athletes from grade-school age to professional. Before leaving California, she was the Team Sports Dietitian for UCLA Athletics; sports nutritionist for Athletes’ Performance. Jenna received her undergraduate degree in Foods & Nutrition from Cal Poly Pomona and Master’s of Science in Human Movement at A.T. Still University, with an emphasis in sports conditioning. Growing up around baseball with a father and uncles who played and practically learning to keep score before she could read—you can say baseball is in Jenna’s blood. Watching a great game or playing over-the-line on a warm summer day are some of her favorite past-times.

In this podcast you will learn:

  1. When Jenna first discovered a love for baseball?
  2. The nutritional challenges she sees for baseball players, especially pro athletes who have a long season?
  3. If there is any nutritional value to the Sunflower Seed, a popular item, seen in dugouts across the US?
  4. Nutrition principles a baseball player should consider to help elevate his performance?
  5. Nutrition strategies baseball players can implement to reach their weight or strength goals?
  6. The common mistakes young athletes make when trying to decide what to eat between games
  7. How players can better prepare to fuel their body during a tournament?
  8. How steroids are a bad influence on young athletes and how does she educate young athletes on using food as their most effective tool to packing on muscle?
  9. Her new great eBook on Performance Nutrition for Baseball Players: Gain the Advantage.
  10. The topics that she discusses in the Ebook?
  11. Where you can purchase Jenna’s eBook?

Links and Resources  

Podcast Transcript

0:00 Generation Ucan Sponsor

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0:18 Tavis Piattoly Introduction

2:24 When Jenna first discovered a love for baseball?

  • Jenna’s love for baseball started at a young age. She spent countless days and at practices, games, and tournaments, as her dad was a coach and her brother played.

2:45 The nutritional challenges she sees for baseball players, especially pro athletes who have a long season?

  • While the challenges Jenna sees depend on the athlete, some of the main challenges include eating enough, eating at the right time with the appropriate amount, and choosing the best foods. To overcome these challenges, it comes down to planning and preparation.

6:11 If there is any nutritional value to the Sunflower Seed, a popular item, seen in dugouts across the US?

  • The actual seed of a sunflower seed has a high oil content. It’s a polyunsaturated fat, which is considered more heart healthy and anti-inflammatory. It is also an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and B vitamins. Sunflower seeds are also calorie dense because of the high oil content, providing ~200 calories in ¼ cup.

8:34 Nutrition principles a baseball player should consider to help elevate his performance?

  • One of the main things Jenna likes to say is to eat with a purpose before, during, and after training, breakfast, or games. If the athlete doesn’t have good daily habits, having a great meal tonight before a big game isn’t going to make up for that.
  • Total calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat will help fuel your performance, but also in the amount that’s most beneficial to the athlete’s body composition goals.

10:18 Nutrition strategies baseball players can implement to reach their weight or strength goals?

  • In order to gain good weight and strength, eating enough is critical. You can't build if you don't have enough material, or building blocks. This means total calories, carbs, protein, and fat, not just protein.
  • Being prepared the night before with snacks and meals, waking up in the morning to have a solid breakfast, eating throughout the day, and fueling training and practice to get the most out of them.
  • Some tips include eating five to six times or more throughout the day, adding an extra serving of healthy fats (sunflower seeds, olive oils, natural nut butter. MCTs, coconut oil, almonds), having a high calorie snack between meals or a high calorie shake before and after a workout, having a protein source during a longer workout so that muscle breakdown is minimized, adding a balanced high calorie/lower carbohydrate snack before bed for recovery.
  • Finally, having a sound training program is important, as nutrition and training are a tag team for performance.

12:28 Generation Ucan Sponsor

13:53 The common mistakes young athletes make when trying to decide what to eat between games

  • The biggest mistake is not being prepared. The athletes either don’t eat between games or they’re left to grab whatever is available, such as snack bar foods and fast foods, which are often heavier foods that are full of unhealthy fats, sugars, and inflammatory ingredients. “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

15:42 How can players better prepare to fuel their body during a tournament?

  • Planning and preparing are the two big things to consider. Athletes should think about what foods they know will make them feel good and give them the most energy. Ideally, it’s going to be some good carbohydrate sources, such as a bread product, or a sandwich, or dairy product if that works for the athlete, along with some protein and a little fat. Trying things out in practice before the tournament day is going to be key to determine what works best for the athlete and what the athlete can tolerate between games.

17:33 How steroids are a bad influence on young athletes and how does she educate young athletes on using food as their most effective tool to packing on muscle?

  • Jenna’s main approach is to first make sure that these young athletes are aware and understand the possible health implications of using these substances, whether it's on their heart, brain, other organs, hormones, behavior, personality, etc., and the potential long term effects. Next, Jenna makes sure they know that using these substances can take them out of the game they love. Finally, the most important thing is to give them an alternative, which is the best practice - following good nutrition principles to meet their body composition and performance goals.

19:20 Her new great eBook on Performance Nutrition for Baseball Players: Gain the Advantage.

  • Jenna has always had a love for baseball, and noticed that she hadn’t seen any resources specific to baseball nutrition, not only for young athletes, but for all athletes. She created this resource to share that if you start learning and implementing solid nutrition habits early on, the benefits can be exponential.

20:55 The topics that she discusses in the Ebook?

  • Jenna talks about all things nutrition and baseball - eating with a purpose and to meet the demands of the sport; what a baseball player needs and when; daily nutrition around practices, training, and games; tournament nutrition; rest and recovery; hydration; specific nutrition guidance based on body composition, weight goals, and position.

22:22 Where can you purchase Jenna’s eBook?

23:01 Tavis Piattoly Closing Remarks

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