Minneapolis-St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves and KZ ProVisioning announced the first-ever load-based sports nutrition program. Created exclusively for Timberwolves players, the first-in-pro-sports platform uses data and technology to customize a food program based on each players’ physiological needs.
As part of the initiative, Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Performance and Technology Dr. Robby Sikka, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Dietician Luke Corey, and James Beard Award-winning chefs Gavin Kaysen and Andrew Zimmern will collaborate to compile individual nutrition programs based on a players’ physiological needs in a manner that is driven daily by a players’ bodies response to training, recovery and their own genes. The principal objective is to use complex data to customize player nutrition plans that will help players understand their bodies, recover faster and fuel their body to ensure they are operating at maximum potential and health. Daily meals offered will incorporate specific foods based on the players’ performance earlier that day, whether at a practice or game.
“We see this program as a game-changer for our players,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas. “When evaluating the landscape and determining how we could challenge the norm, we saw an opportunity in the medical technology and nutrition spaces to do something that is both innovative and will help our players maximize their potential. We have an incredible partnership with Mayo Clinic, and with two leaders in the food industry in Gavin and Andrew who will help take this program to the next level. We thank them for their partnership and belief in our vision as we aim to cultivate a modern and player centric organization.”
The Timberwolves will use proprietary technology to aggregate game data, practice data, hydration monitoring, dietary preferences as well dietary sensitivities to then create tailored player nutrition programs.
“Having worked in professional sports for years, I knew we could do something new with technology and data at the Timberwolves,” said Dr. Sikka. “The technology we’re using and the data collected, combined with the added nutritional value, will help us optimize the players’ potential, keep them healthier and extend their career.”
“I feel truly blessed to be a part of an organization that prioritizes my health and helps me understand how I can optimize my performance through nutrition and technology,” said 2019 No. 6 overall selection and Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver. “The early results of this program have been great. The food is really good and I’m learning more and more every day how to make the best nutritional choices for my body.”
Based on data and nutritionist recommendations, Kaysen and Zimmern will hand-select menu items, evaluate restaurants on the road and provide analysis of player nutritional habits. Chefs will prepare all food at the team’s practice facility in Mayo Clinic Square in downtown Minneapolis and execute food orders for each road trip. Chefs will also provide custom meals as soon as the players land back in Minneapolis.
“Partnering with my hometown NBA team and working on the first of its kind nutritional program in professional sports is a huge honor,” said Kaysen. “We look forward to seeing how our customized meal plans impact the health of the Timberwolves this season.”
“We are excited to partner with the Minnesota Timberwolves and prepare meals in a brand new way with technology and data as the catalyst,” said Zimmern. “Using a data-driven approach, our culinary program helps players optimize their daily performance, reduce recovery time from stress or injury and lengthen their careers. The menus are fully customized based on each player’s individualized needs, and the meals are delicious, made with quality ingredients, and are designed to help the athletes perform and feel their very best, physically and mentally.”
The Timberwolves have established themselves as leaders in the sports wellness and technology field through data collection and recent progressive partnerships with industry leaders such as Mayo Clinic, Fitbit, Sharecare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Lifetime.