Jennifer Gibson, MS, RD, CSSD, ISAK3, and Dr. Dana Lis, PhD, RD, CPT, ISAK1, co-founders of Performance Nutrition Professionals (PNP), hosted their first Performance Nutrition Elite Operator Performance Nutrition Course in Colorado Springs this past June.
The hydration module included several common, field-leading approaches to assess hydration status of athletes.
Judging by the initial response, it's no surprise there are already plans for a follow up course in late 2023 or early 2024.
The event hosted dietitians, nutritionists, physicians, trainers and strength coaches from the United States and Canada working in private, collegiate and professional sport from the NFL, MLS, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA, and Military settings.
The course focused on a “Lab2Life Format”, separating from the traditional lecture-Q&A approach at many conferences. Attendees would participate in several learning modules covering biomarkers, hydration, supplements, body composition, and metabolic fueling in a team setting. Course modules were taught by Dr. Lis and Jennifer Gibson starting with respective scientific theory, insight exchange dialogues for attendees and was followed by a practical hands-on lab for application.
Attendees were able to pour urine samples directly through InFlow into buckets of bleach water to receive real-time hydration status feedback. User experience and workflows were a big topic during the applied lab.
Intake Health was a proud sponsor of the hydration module, and the InFlow technology was featured and allowed participants to assess their own hydration in real time and compare it to other urinalysis assessments. While InFlow has already been assessed against refractometers, having attendees see the immediate feedback in real time spurned great discussion on the possibilities of getting athletes in the driver seat for high quality assessments done with greater frequency. All of this, of course, without adding extra work for staff.
As practical learning took center stage for each module, the hydration module in particular was a great platform for collaboration. Attendees shared practical insights, experience, as well as ways to tackle workflows to broaden support for athletes.
“The hydration lab was my favorite practical component of the whole course. I really appreciated being able to test technology out in a live setting. It can be overwhelming trying to learn and keep up with all the new technologies available, especially in this space. To pair the research with the hands on usage and also hear about other practitioners sharing about their experiences, it was honestly one of the best continuing education events I have ever attended in my career thus far.” - NBA Dietitian
When asked about why this format was chosen for highlighting InFlow and other hydration technology, Gibson remarked that she wanted the Elite Operator Course to stand up to the modern demands practitioners face in the field.
"Performance nutrition is an applied science area. We need to learn the way we practice. The lecture covers the why – the scientific background and research we need to know and be aware of. Sharing insights with peers is super critical. We all apply these areas a bit differently in our practice areas. Networking with each other is so critical in sport! Lastly many of us learn by doing! Putting your hands on technology like InFlow and experiencing something yourself really helps to bring the “Lab2Life”, which is the motto of our course."
What does the future hold for PNP and more hands on workshops and courses? Gibson says they are in the process of planning the next course, with dates and location to be released in the coming weeks. With the success of the first course this summer, attendance will be limited to 50 people per event to help optimize learning and networking. Give them a follow @performancenturitionpros on Instagram or LinkedIn to stay updated on this information.