Performance Eats @ The Beach

Performance Eats @ The Beach: Optimizing student-athletes' performance through nutrition

To be a strong, healthy champion, student-athletes need to eat like one, too, and Cal State Long Beach is looking to create a revolutionary research-based approach to design meal plans for its athletes through Performance Eats @ The Beach. 

Performance Eats @ The Beach is a proposed 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art nutrition and events center that will bring together the academic disciplines of nutrition, dietetics, food science and hospitality management in a research and education enterprise that establishes a meal plan for Long Beach State athletes. 

“The training table is a platform under which these disciplines can converge and work together and learn from one another,” said Dean Monica Lounsbery of the College of Health and Human Services. “This is not found anywhere else in the country.” 

Lounsbery added that Performance Eats @ The Beach is unique in its interdisciplinary opportunities for student research on an intact group (athletes). The center, which will have a chef as its endowed chair, will have an impact on students across campus with cutting-edge product development, interdisciplinary research, and its relationship to a host of health and performance outcomes. 

“The students will have opportunities to see their work because there is ongoing longitudinal data going on the dietary intake of this intact group that theoretically will be here for four years,” Lounsbery said. “So, when we have three meals plus snacks data on these individuals for four years – that’s really valuable because now we can understand a lot.” 

The dietary intake of student-athletes will be recorded and examined in relation to several performance and health outcomes based on food science and nutrition research to better establish sport-level diets and how it affects their endurance, energy, mental acuity and decision-making. 

Lounsbery said it is important to have data on dietary intake also to see how hormonal levels, cortisol levels, stress, anxiety, and sleep affect our lives. 

When completed, the Performance Eats @ The Beach Center also will serve as a fully functional health clinic as well as the site for food and beverage classes, seminar demonstrations and events.