A Mission to Empower Athletes
As a lifelong athlete and nutrition expert, Alayna knows that athletes face many challenges with how to fuel their bodies properly to reach their highest level of performance. Alayna’s goal is to educate and empower athletes to understand how nutrition impacts their performance, recovery, and longevity, and to create practical strategies that can help them succeed.
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Alayna’s Story | Lifelong Athlete, Nutrition Expert
I was a junior in high school when I joined the cross country team. Cross country was a new sport to me. Practices consisted of intense running practices in the late afternoon after a long day of school. I immediately struggled with feeding myself properly throughout the day and experienced discomfort during practices if I ate too much or the wrong type of food beforehand. I all of a sudden became consumed with what to eat during the school day in order to not feel discomfort during practices. With many failed attempts to fuel myself properly, I decided to simply not eat after lunch time (which was at 10:30 am). I didn’t have the tools at the time to educate myself properly, so I did what I thought was best and tried not to eat too much. Most days following practice, I would be starving and the only food options around were typically from the snack bar. Refueling consisted of candy, chips, and processed food. My energy levels were low and I often crashed half way through the meets. Looking back, I wonder what my potential could have been had I known how to properly fuel my body, and implement strategies to work with the challenging high school schedule.
“I wonder what my potential could have been had I known how to properly fuel my body, and implement strategies to work with the challenging high school schedule.”
I went off to play lacrosse at The Ohio State University, and again, immediately struggled with knowing how to properly fuel myself for my new lifestyle and training. Eating in the dining hall 24/7 as a freshman with a new training program resulted in 15 lbs of unwanted weight gain. I would spend any extra time I could find doing extra cardio to try and get some of the weight off. Sophomore year brought on another steep learning curve with now living off campus and grocery shopping and cooking for myself along with balancing classes, practices, travel, and social-life. Not only was a still struggling with knowing WHAT and WHEN to eat, but this time I had a new set of challenges with HOW to grocery shopping and cook efficiently and effectively. As I became emerged into my studies in Dietetics, it all started to click. Food was fuel, and I needed to have a plan in order to success. I started to use my knowledge to create a plan to support my training and performance.
Alayna completed both a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition/Dietetics, and Master of Science in Medical Dietetics from The Ohio State University. After graduation, Alayna received extensive sports nutrition training through an immersion program with IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, FL. There she worked directly with the NFL Combine Training Program and athletes from all over the world. Following her time at IMG, Alayna has continued to work with a variety of sports teams and individuals, including the Naval Academy, WNBA Washington Mystics, Loyola Women’s Lacrosse, UMBC Women’s Lacrosse, and Georgetown Women’s Lacrosse.
“Alayna was recognized with the highest honor and was inducted into The Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame in September of 2022.”
Alayna was a 2x All-American Lacrosse Player at The Ohio State University, breaking school records that still stand today. In September 2022, Alayna was recognized with the highest honor and was inducted into The Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame. During her time at Ohio State, she was also recognized with conference honors including Rookie of the Year (2009), ALC All-Team, and Team Captain. Alayna continues to fuel her passion for sports and competition through an active lifestyle with her family.
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