NCAA Gymnastics Nutrition – What Coaches, Gymnasts, and Parents Need to Know

Today on the podcast I’m super excited to have back third-time returner, the wonderful Christina Anderson who is a registered Dietitian and Board Certified Paediatric Specialist who specializes in eating disorders.

She’s been a fantastic guest on the podcast discussing food and body image talk which many coaches and gymnasts resonated with.

Christina helps athletes with performance, nutrition, dealing with food, and properly fueling themselves, specializing in high-level elite gymnasts all the way down to regular gymnasts.

In today’s discussion, we’re actually pivoting to talk about something I really think is under-discussed which is properly fueling the College gymnast.

The NCAA gymnast who is transitioning to College life, they now have a busy schedule with classes and training, they’re not used to shopping for themselves or cooking for themselves, or even the dining hall with a million options. 

The reality is, that it’s a shock when you go to college, I remember a lot of my problems with my own body image and insecurities about weight came when I went to college, and just I was completely on my own. 

We tackle a big elephant in the room which is the conversation that’s, unfortunately, is still prominent in our culture; about freshmen gaining weight and that’s why injuries happen and they can’t do their skills.

We dispel those myths with high-quality science and also offer productive strategies for busy College gymnasts to fuel themselves well, to take care of, to perform better to feel like they’re at their best especially when they work so hard for their College career. 

Hopefully, we also share important information for younger athletes and parents so they are educated and know what to expect. We discuss: 

  • Exactly why do athletes struggle with the transition to College?
  • How we can improve the lack of information around proper nutrition.
  • “If you just lost five pounds, you’d catch your Tkatchev” Why THAT IS SUCH BULLSHIT.
  • Weight gain in freshmen is due to delayed periods from being overtrained and under fuelled when they’re younger not because they’re out eating and drinking.
  • Strategies to help College gymnasts cope with busy College life.
  • We discuss interesting research papers such as; Collateral fattening in body composition.
  • Gymnastics is A Unique Sport with Specific Nutrition Needs
  • There’s no way to diet without consequence.
  • Christina explains her Small Group Nutrition Coaching for Collegiate Gymnasts to help them learn to fuel for optimal performance and longevity in sport (without the guilt/anxiety around food) https://christinaandersonrdn.thinkific.com/courses/tbgmethod-ncaa

To listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher click below:

NCAA Gymnastics Nutrition – What Coaches, Gymnasts, and Parents Need to Know

If you’d like more information about Nutrition for Gymnastics for non-college gymnasts/parents: 


Or for teams:


As mentioned in the podcast we discuss several research papers, here are the links if you want to educate yourself further:

Collateral fattening in body composition autoregulation: its determinants and significance for obesity predisposition


Metabolic adaptation to weight loss: implications for the athlete


Developing Powerful Athletes, Part 1: Mechanical Underpinnings


Developing Powerful Athletes Part 2: Practical Applications




Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science