LOS ANGELES — Katie Ahlers joined the Los Angeles Rams team six months ago to serve as a general performance nutrition fellow. The 2016 St. Edmond graduate was currently being introduced to everyday living in the NFL, as properly as the specifications and obligations of the qualified nutritional earth.
The 25-yr-aged Ahlers could have by no means predicted she’d be getting into this season as the team’s head dietitian. But in a situation of perfect timing and confirmed general performance, Ahlers promptly labored her way to the prime of the 2022 Super Bowl champion’s nourishment office.
“I am a one particular-woman band right now,” Ahlers reported. “With transitioning into a department head following just a few months as a fellow in the NFL, there is definitely a great deal of transform that I require to navigate. It’s a massive precedence of mine to be a good mentor someday, so I want to be positive that I have graduated from treading h2o to complete-on swimming ahead of I deliver an individual else on.
“While there isn’t anyone else in my department at the second, I get the job done with an remarkable chef, a efficiency workers who I actually feel are amongst the best in the field, and the world’s most supportive head coach and coaching workers. My occupation would not be possible without any of them.”
Ahlers captains the fueling and hydration process for the entire Rams roster, which contains stars like Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald. The Iowa Point out University graduate facilitates strategies that assortment from crew-huge anticipations to specific-dependent demands.
“Day-to-working day is made up of currently being close to for all breakfast, lunch, and dinners to deliver dietary suggestions and steering to gamers, as effectively as examining in with players about in general wellness,” Ahlers said. “Apart from meals, I set up and administer pre- and write-up- fueling, hydration, and supplementation for all lifts, wander-throughs, and methods. I also float involving situation groups at practice with various hydration resources, and offer fueling and hydration on a crew vast foundation in the course of the entirety of follow. On prime of that, I deal with all players’ weights and weigh-ins, so I operate carefully with all of the fellas on remaining in tune with that all over the week.”
Ahlers is in demand of hotel and postgame foods, as perfectly as snack menus and stadium fueling for equally house and street games. While she is technically traveling solo in her division, she consults with quite a few of the team’s staff members members on a steady basis.
“I get the job done really closely with our rockstar head chef, Chef Kiki, to strategy all menus and snacks for the men,” Ahlers said. “The Rams also have an extraordinary efficiency employees designed up of sports drugs, power and conditioning, sports activities science, participant affairs, and diet, who collaborate day by day about all needs of the gamers from a performance standpoint.
“We are normally communicating and functioning together to fulfill the needs of each particular person gamers and the group as a complete. The collaborative model that they have built and go on to develop is amazing. I learn factors every solitary working day and we are so dialed in from every single path. It actually is something distinctive.”
Los Angeles is still in its preseason manner. Ahlers is at the facility from pre-breakfast time through supper, wherever she is effective instantly with players and coaches in a assortment of techniques.
“The regular season will hit in the starting of September, and we’ll begin to get into the usual in-period regime,” Ahlers stated. “But I imagine our personnel does a great work of attempting to hold anything as reliable as possible to try to get the players into actually good rhythms so they can go out there and do their job working day in and working day out — irrespective of the time of year.”
Ahlers consistently fulfills with Rams head coach Sean McVay on a variety of matters.
“I speak with the coaches on a every day foundation, whether or not it is with regards to a specific subject matter or just checking in irrespective of whether it be about the department, the corporation, or lifestyle in normal,” Ahlers reported. “Coach McVay is so fantastic about developing a extremely open surroundings, and has been this sort of an incredible help procedure for me. His doorway is often open up and he is good about examining in with me and making a dialogue among the two of us. The situation coaches are also excellent. We have a good deal of organic and natural conversations in the course of the week with regards to diverse gamers, targets we may have for specific fellas, or just examining in.
“Again, I really don’t imagine I could have requested for a superior employees to go via this method with. At no position have I ever felt like I am seemed at any in a different way for remaining new or young. They genuinely belief me and my ability to do my occupation and it implies the earth to me. I have developed so substantially in my expert and individual assurance because of the respect that they have shown me.”
Ahlers proceeds to navigate the variance amongst school football — she invested the 2021 and ’22 seasons doing work with the Iowa Point out method — and the NFL.
“I feel the major adjustment to professional ball has to be the flexibility and overall flexibility that we have,” Ahlers reported. “In college or university, you have to function all-around course schedules, tests, sometimes outside jobs, and a lot more. Listed here, their work is to be right here. We are ready to do so a great deal far more since we have the time to make it take place.
“With it being their (livelihood), there is a great deal fewer stress on me to check out to force things to materialize. My work is to lay out a process that will guide to a good consequence their position is to lean into that course of action and they do a good occupation with it. I think the personal accountability aspect is just on an additional degree, which has been genuinely great to see.”
Because of to her posture, Ahlers is also on the slicing edge of her profession’s developments and sources.
“A big advantage at the expert degree has to be the international communication,” Ahlers mentioned. “I’ve never ever been with any other firm, so I cannot communicate for them, but at least below, it is just upcoming level. I am ready to do so substantially much more as a dietitian for the reason that I’m always dialed in with what is going on in athletic teaching, in the excess weight space, with effectiveness science, and every thing else. We all just are really in sync.
“I think owning all of these pieces of the puzzle will allow all of us to definitely do much more in our specific departments, which then reaps big positive aspects as a whole. I’m not sure I even have significant down sides to position out from a experienced standpoint. Proper now, it still feels like a desire.”
The foundation for Ahlers’ vocation will constantly be rooted at Iowa Condition, where by she worked below director of football nourishment Rachel Voet and Cyclone head coach Matt Campbell.
“I just can’t say enough how much the interactions I cultivated at Iowa Point out have aided me grow to be the qualified and individual that I am these days,” Ahlers explained. “My time as a Cyclone genuinely did instruct me the significance of developing solid interactions with individuals about you.
“That has been these kinds of a cornerstone for me in this article with the Rams.”
The culture shock of moving from Iowa to Los Angeles hasn’t fully worn off, even even though Ahlers has located her consolation zone to a particular extent. She is even now changing to residing two time zones away from her loved kinds.
“I imagine the most important problem with the changeover I’ve produced is the length from my household,” Ahlers explained. “I lived a optimum of a few hours absent from them my entire life. I’m more than 1800 miles from them now. It’s been a big adjustment, and is definitely a thing I battle with from time to time. I also know, while, that they are my most important fans and the motive why I’m in this article. My mother (Susan) has been a genuine illustration of how to be brave and persevere. My father (Paul) is the 1 who has usually taught me the energy of know-how and curiosity. My phase dad (Rod) has spent my entire existence instructing me that I can make a positive influence on the persons about me.
“I use these classes just about every one day, and would not be anywhere near to this place with no them. So, even although they’re a 25-hour generate away, I nonetheless have little parts of them with me all the time. Maintaining that in brain can help a large amount.”