Shreveport native’s nutritional guidance vital for brand-name sports figures

PLANNING PROPERLY: Shreveport native Lindsay Gosslee Langford (at right) works with a chef for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers to design nutritional meals for the team.

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

Shreveport’s Lindsay Gosslee Langford hasn’t scored a goal for the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team.SBJ spotlight

She’s yet to win an IndyCar Series race.

Nor has she scored a point for Butler University’s basketball teams.

But for those who have, Langford is a vital asset.

The Captain Shreve High School, University of Alabama, and Louisiana Tech University graduate is a sports dietitian with Ascension St. Vincent Sports Performance in Carmel, Indiana (just north of Indianapolis). The meat and potatoes of her current and past client list include soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Six-time IndyCar Series race winner Graham Rahal, the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, and Butler University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“When you’re a professional — and even when you’re not — you’re always looking for that edge,” Langford explained. “‘What’s something that my competitor may not be doing, so I can be better than them?’” Nowadays, I feel like everybody has their own strength coach. Everybody has someone that helps them (deal) with injury. Not everyone has truly latched on to nutrition. From a performance enhancing standpoint, also from a recovery standpoint, when you’ve got back-to-back games or races, ‘How can I recover as quickly as I can?’”

A big part of Langford’s work for the US Soccer Women’s National Team is “menu preparation.”

“I design a menu that is based around performance-enhancing foods,” Langford said. “Foods that dilate the blood vessels to allow more blood to get into the muscles. That helps with recovery. What are some foods that are high Omega, fatty acids, that help with inflammation? What are specific antioxidants that help fight off some of the muscle damage from a hard workout?”

It sounds like Langford has the soccer players’ complete trust.

“Good nutrition is so crucial to being able to compete at the highest level, and Lindsay is one of the best nutritionists in the game,” said USWNT defender Abby Dahlkemper. “She is extremely knowledgeable in her craft, and has helped me get my body to where it needs to be.”

Butler’s student-athletes have seen the benefits of Langford’s work.

“The things she has really championed for us the last couple of years have been some processes such as sweat analysis, so we get the right hydration plan for each player,” said Ralph Reiff, BU’s senior associate athletic director of student-athlete, health, performance, and well-being. “That has greatly reduced our muscle cramp and fatigue issues.”

While Langford enjoys working with athletes and teams from a variety of sports, she really enjoys working with the Indy Car people.

“Those drivers are very receptive, because they have not had any education before,” Langford said. “Nobody’s paying attention to them from a nutrition standpoint. But it’s very much needed when they’re in the car, and it’s 120 degrees in the fire suit, and they’re losing 10 pounds of fluid in a race. That’s a big deal. That’s nutrition. That’s hydration.”

You might think being a mother of two boys, ages 8 and 10, Langford is strict on what her children eat. But she tries to find a balance between being mom, and being a dietician.

“On road trips, we get McDonald’s, and they look forward to that, but they don’t ever ask for that. That doesn’t mean we don’t eat out. We eat at Chick-fil-A plenty. But they are educated on the foods we want to fuel with frequently, and the foods that we get to fuel with for fun. I never restrict. They get a treat in their lunch every day.”