Varem-Sanders keeps the guys running

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

At first glance, Charlotte Varem-Sanders just looks like a normal fan in the Clarke Stadium bleachers watching yet another training camp practice.

But to the Eskimo brass and coaching staff, she is a key figure who has helped make this camp an efficient success so far.

In her first year on contract with the team, the nutritionist helped put together the daily food menus that have given the players the fuel to survive back-to-back 100-minute practices in the mornings and weight-training sessions in the afternoons.

"You are looking at (the average football player needing) between 5,000-10,000 calories a day," she said. "And you are looking at 50% carbohydrates all the way up to almost 70% (of their diet).

"Protein requirements will be higher than the average person because their muscles are working, developing and repairing."

The average active person needs about 3,000 calories a day.

As for fruits and vegetables, Varem-Sanders wants to see the players eating at least 10 servings a day, almost double the minimum recommendation for a normal person following the Canada health guide.

That explains why there are at least 11 different kinds of fruit - let alone vegetable options - on the lunch menu every day.

Varem-Sanders also visits the players two to three times a week during meals to answer questions and offer possible suggestions.

Earlier this week, she was promoting the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after practice.

"It is an excellent recovery beverage," said the registered dietitian with Athletic Nutrition Services in Sherwood Park.

"It has got a good blend of carbohydrates and protein.

"It is also 87% water, so it helps rebuild your muscles."


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