Mustang News Staff Report
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Cal Poly registered dietician Megan Coats and nutrition professor Scott Reaves have teamed up to create a number of protein-packed health smoothies called Power Fruit.
The smoothies, which have been a work in progress for the last two years, have their grand release to the general public at the Mustang Mile on Thursday. They have been sold at Lucy’s Juice for the last two to three months.
Men’s basketball coach Joe Callero, who could not be reached for comment, received a donation to fund the smoothies’ creation. Callero’s players drank them three to four times per week after practices, and Cal Poly baseball players recently started doing the same.
Athletes who sampled Power Fruit also received diet analyses and nutrition counseling along the way. Basketball players still receive free smoothies throughout the week, despite not being in the regular season.
Reaves, a student-athlete at Cal Poly in the late 1980s, helped decide the chemistry composition of the different Power Fruit smoothies.
“They have a certain ratio of carbohydrates and protein, and then we wanted to make sure they’re relatively low in fiber and make sure they’re basically foods instead of a supplement,” Reaves said. “They have approximately 25 grams of protein, 75 grams of carbohydrate. So it’s not a low-calorie (smoothie), and it’s not a protein shake.”
Coats, Reaves and nutrition students experimented with many different kinds of ingredients to find the best nutritional and taste combinations. They spent a significant amount of time sampling different protein powders’ tastes in the smoothies, Coats said.
“It’s been shown time and time again that a … protein/carbohydrate blend is really optimal for performance, recovery, stimulating muscle growth, energy, just kind of everything,” Coats said.
One morning after the recipes were set, Coats, Reaves and a handful of colleagues fasted to simulate an athlete’s body after a long workout. They checked their blood glucose every 15 minutes to find a quick spike, followed by a slow, steady decline.
Though Coats often works on developing new food and beverages for students, this was the first time she had designed something specifically for athletic competitors since coming to Cal Poly.
“We had a goal in mind to establish this line of smoothies for the athletes, and then for the general public,” she said. “A lot of universities have sports nutrition programs for their athletes, so it’s exciting that hopefully we can expand to other programs in the future.”