July 26, 2013
By Matt Winkeljohn
– When Mike Bewley set about the business of creating a website and an app that would help him help others with sports nutrition, he had student-athletes and coaches in mind.
He still does, and as a bonus the Georgia Tech strength and conditioning coach has learned that much of the knowledge that he has spent nearly 15 years distilling into an easier-to-understand form applies far beyond the men’s basketball and tennis players.
Bewley’s company website – nutracarina.com – went live less than three weeks ago, and with the help of professionals, he’s designed an app that makes it far easier than one might imagine to design a nutrition program to help enhance an athlete’s productivity, or – here’s the surprise – help Joe Blow lead a healthier life.
“Maybe an athlete is pretty self-motivated, but doesn’t have a [nutrition] coach. Or maybe they’re out of college or high school, but they still yearn to do the training,” Bewley said. “This gives a platform for that person.
“The premise I don’t want to give is that you have to have a coach in order to do this. The program empowers a coach through our certification program, but if an athlete truly wants to change dietary habits, the system gives all the information necessary to do that.”
The feedback that made it clear to Bewley that his program might have greater reach has come largely from Greater Atlanta Christian strength and conditioning coach Gary Schofield and others in the GAC community.
Schofield, a former Atlanta Hawks assistant athletic trainer, began using Bewley’s “Critical Reload” pre- and post-workout shake about 14 months ago with student-athletes at the Gwinnett County private school. He has moved forward by introducing much of Bewley’s research and knowledge into his health science classes.
GAC student-athletes, in fact, served as a beta group in testing Bewley’s app, and the results have gone beyond Spartan athletes.
“It’s been so positive that we’ve had parents join the program,” said Schofield, who is beginning his 12th year at GAC. “We had one sign up a family of six. My wife is on the program.”
Since beginning his career at Nevada-Reno in 1999, Bewley has learned that the disconnect between people and nutrition programs – whether they’re athletes or not – is multiplied by information overload. For years, he’s been streamlining the educational part of the process to where his start-up video with Nutracarina is now about an hour. Years ago, his first book on the process was dozens and dozens of pages long.
“Mike summarizes that a workout is not what makes a person stronger; it actually makes you weaker,” Schofield said. “What actually makes you stronger is the recovery and nutrition is a big part of that. Often, we’re leaving nutrition to moms and dads.”
The app is interactive, and while it allows a coach to administer a system and keep track of multiple athletes, it is also designed for a solo user.
Many nutrition programs “are too hard to understand,” Schofield said. “There is no revolutionary content in here. What Mike has done is simplify it. Any time you increase the complexity of a subject, you decrease the probably of it being properly applied.
“Nobody wants a 72-page manual that is too hard to understand. This is absolutely simple to apply … without taking away the value of the content. If your goal is 900 calories a day, and you plug in what you’ve had and you’ve met 900 calories but 40 percent was carbohydrates, you know you’ve got to increase your carbs.”
Also on the website, Bewley’s blog offers tips for everything from weight gain to weight loss and more.
“People can go on there and get a feel for the program. One of the neat things that I never imagined, since I was really kind of stuck in what I do, is coach Schofield has been able to carry over to the students, not just the student-athletes,” Bewley said. “You’ve got to have a game plan.
“I think it bridges the gap between all the things that athletes are inundated with every day with infomercials, fad diets and sports supplements that aren’t really sourced around nutrition, but are more a marketing slogan. It takes some high-level stuff and waters it down to something that’s easy to understand. It’s not like reading a book.”
I would strongly encourage readers to check out the nutracarina.com website and run through the three-minute sample of the app. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Sting Daily in your e-mail box — it’s free! Just register here to get the latest features on Georgia Tech Athletics.