Nutrition for Recovery and Rehabilitation

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Emerging research shows that nutrition intervention can impact the recovery of certain athletic injuries as well as aid in the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI’s).  Unfortunately this research is not included in the standard nutrition curriculum for athletic trainers. A recent study published by Torres-McGehee in the Journal of Athletic Training assessed the basic nutrition knowledge of athletic trainers (2012).  The nutrition knowledge questions used in this research did not include questions about nutrition interventions that could reduce incidence of illness and improve injury rehabilitation outcomes.  Additionally this type of research is rarely published in the most popular referred journals for athletic trainers. Therefore, it is unlikely that this important research is translating to clinical practice. Closing this knowledge gap is critical to optimizing return to play outcomes and minimizing URTI’s.


At the end of this presentation, attendees will be better able to:

  1. Summarize recent research in the areas of Nutrition for Illness and Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
  2. Assist athletes and teams by making practical nutrition recommendations to reduce incidence of upper respiratory tract infections
  3. Collaborate with sports dietitians in order to integrate nutrition into treatment and rehabilitation plans


Target Audience: ATs, RDs, CSCS, and other sports medicine or athlete support staff

Speaker: Katie Knappenberger, MS, RD, CSSD, ATC

Katie Knappenberger is the Director of Performance Nutrition for Northwestern University Athletics. She joined Northwestern in June of 2014 to build a performance nutrition program unlike any other in college athletics. Her mission is to empower athletes to use food to fuel athletic and academic success. She is responsible for clinical nutrition care, team and staff education and outreach, fueling station management, and food and supplement security.

Before joining the Wildcats, Knappenberger was an assistant professor and athletic trainer at Daytona State College in Daytona Beach, Fla. She earned her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and her master’s degree in nutrition with emphasis in sports dietetics from the University of Utah.

Knappenberger is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Athletic Trainer who is actively involved in the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA), the Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Dietetic Practice Group (SCAN), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). She currently represents the Big Ten Conference on CPSDA’s Power 5 Committee and was elected by her peers to join CPSDA’s Board of Directors last May.


Drug Free Sport International (BOC AP# P8729) is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to provide continuing education to Athletic Trainers. This program is eligible for a maximum of 1.5 Category A hour/CEU. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the session. 



Drug Free Sport (Accredited Provider 99D4E11) is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration to provide continuing education to Registered Dietitians. This program is eligible for a maximum of 1 CPEU. Activity# 148498

Suggested Performance Indicators: 8.1.2, 8.1.4

Suggested Learning Needs Codes: 3100, 4060, 5050