In the podcast episode of On Q, you'll dive into sports nutrition and performance with guest Cat Hammer, the Head Sports Dietitian at the University of Pennsylvania. Cat shares valuable insights on structuring meals, the importance of hydration, and the impact of supplements on athletic performance.

Cat's practical tips and balanced approach to nutrition underscore how eating for athletes can be both simple and very complex, making this episode a must-listen for college athletes prioritizing performance and health. From discussing the use of supplements to providing guidance on meal timing and composition, Cat shares her expertise on the essential role of nutrition and hydration in optimizing athletic performance.

In this episode, you'll learn:

How to optimize your athletic performance with personalized meal structures and sports nutrition insights.

The difference between a registered dietician and internet health coaches.

The importance of meal timing and composition in the morning, before exercise, and after

The crucial role of hydration in enhancing your athletic performance and overall well-being.

What you should consider when buying supplements and protein powders.

Since starting at Penn in 2020, Hammer has overseen the nutritional strategies and approaches for Penn’s intercollegiate teams, meeting individually with student-athletes as well as providing team and small group presentations. She also serves on multiple interdisciplinary committees with other members of Penn’s Sports Performance unit to better serve the Division’s nearly 1,000 student-athletes.  The Philadelphia native is also the owner of Hammer Fuel Sports Nutrition, a virtual sports nutrition counseling and consulting business for middle school, high school, collegiate and professional athletes. She is also a consultant with Ascent Athlete, formerly Maplezone Sports Institute, and began her career as the sports nutrition assistant with the Bradenton Marauders, the High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hammer earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from West Chester University in 2018, where she was a three-time all-region and two-time all-conference softball player for the Golden Rams. She received a master’s degree in exercise and nutrition science from the University of Tampa in 2019. 

Contact Cat:

Penn Website

Hammer Fuel Website

Hammer Fuel Sports Nutrition Instagram

The key moments in this episode are:00:00:04 - Introduction to Performance Therapy Podcast 00:02:08 - Building Relationships and Growth 00:05:05 - Planning Nutrition and Workouts 00:07:46 - A Day in the Life of a Registered Dietician in College Athletics 00:10:16 - Confidentiality and Collaboration 00:11:36 - Balancing Clinical and Sports Performance Nutrition 00:12:44 - Putting Together a Dietary Plan 00:14:03 - Caloric Intake for Athletes 00:15:47 - Registered Dietitian vs. Nutritionist 00:20:56 - Modifying Nutrient Intake Based on Activity 00:22:37 - Carb Cycling for Athletes 00:23:40 - Tracking Calories and Macros 00:25:18 - Meal Timing and Nutrient Intake 00:27:44 - Pitfalls of Excessive Protein Intake 00:31:52 - Thoughts on Intermittent Fasting 00:33:22 - Importance of Eating for Muscle Building 00:34:49 - Hydration for Athletes 00:37:28 - Impact of Dehydration on Performance 00:41:28 - Protein, Supplements, and Third-Party Testing 00:44:27 - Importance of Researching Supplements 00:46:09 - Creatine and Nutrition 00:48:31 - Casein Protein and Energy Drinks 00:53:51 - Simplifying Nutrition

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