Build Your Base with Beef, a popular South Dakota sports nutrition and training program, continues to spark interest with athletes and coaches across the state. As the year-one pilot comes to a successful completion, there is positive talk about the future of the program.
“We are thrilled by the success of the Build Your Base with Beef program in its inaugural year and are excited to continue our partnership with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council during the 2019 football season,” states Dr. Thayne Munce, Associate Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute.
The Build Your Base with Beef sports nutrition and training program utilizes beef as its premier protein. It was developed in partnership between the SDBIC and the Sanford Sports Science Institute as a pilot during the fall, 2018 high school football season in ten South Dakota communities. Demand for the program has continued to grow.
SDBIC Director of Nutrition Holly Swee states, “We know that beef can be an optimal protein source for our athletes and play a huge role in recovery. We want to provide our families, athletes and coaches with accurate information on how to incorporate beef into a healthful lifestyle and this program does just that.”
The program demonstrated positive results through both qualitative and quantitative feedback. According to program surveys, most players were not eating anything prior to the game with their lunch and sometimes even breakfast being their last meal.
Throughout implementation of the program student athletes started considering nutrition and the importance of timing their meals to ensure they were ready to perform. Coaches noticed a definite improvement and began seeing athletes choose protein like beef jerky as a snack of choice before and after competition. One athlete from the program states, “I now understand the importance of protein when it comes to training and being the best athlete I can be.”
As for the parents, there was a significant change in meal preparation for their athletes pre- and post-survey. When asked if they were confident in preparing meals to meet energy and nutrient needs of their athletes’ preseason, 65% felt confident. This increased to 91% confident post-season.The pre- and post-game beef meal component of the program offered these young athletes an opportunity to receive a nutritious protein-packed meal, which was one of the program goals. However, it was noted by several parents, coaches and community members that the program went beyond nutrition. It became a lesson in sportsmanship and fellowship as it offered opportunities for these athletes to engage with one another off the playing field, with some schools choosing to open their post-game meals up to opposing teams.
SDBIC Executive Director Suzy Geppert says the value of the program at the community level is significant. “This program truly became a community effort with several of our coaches talking about its impact beyond the plate as it expanded relationships and opportunities through the pre-/post-game meal scenarios,” she says. “We are so proud of the way our communities embraced this program. From our coaches and ADs to athletes, parents, booster clubs, beef producers and retail partners, Build Your Base with Beef continues to show the power of community partnership and the role beef plays as an integral part of that community from pasture to plate.”
Both SDBIC and the Sanford Sports Science Institute see the value of the program to South Dakota schools and communities. “We look forward to supporting the health, well-being and performance of high school student-athletes and engaging with even more communities across South Dakota as this program grows,” states Dr. Munce. Geppert says the program will expand to more South Dakota schools in 2019.
The 2019 Build Your Base with Beef program application is available to all South Dakota High School football programs. However, resources from the website can be utilized by anyone.