Madonna University Alumni Power Detroit Tigers' Performance Nutrition Program

Photo of the trio dressed in their work attire at Comerica Park

LIVONIA, MICH. – In a powerful testament to the impact of Madonna University's degree, three dedicated alumni lead the nutrition and culinary efforts for the Detroit Tigers, contributing significantly to the team's performance and health. Maureen Stoecklein, '96 dietetics graduate, heading up the charge with support from fellow Madonna alumnae Mackenzie Gurne, '20 dietetics and '22 master’s in nutrition and wellness graduate, and Alyssa Benvenuti, '21 dietetics graduate. Together, they are revolutionizing the way the Detroit Tigers approach nutrition and athletic performance. 

The dynamic trio is working to implement a comprehensive performance nutrition program, ensuring that the team's players, coaching staff, and employees are fueled for peak performance. Working with the head chef, Stoecklein, who serves as team dietitian, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table, guiding the team toward healthier eating habits. 

Gurne and Benvenuti play pivotal roles as food preparation chefs, meticulously crafting dishes to meet the nutritional needs of the Tigers organization. Their responsibilities include baking, developing new menu items, creating dressings for freshly made salads, and preparing a variety of food selections. Grocery shopping, making freshly pressed juices, and managing online grocery orders also are part of their daily routine. 

To ensure that players stay well-hydrated throughout their performance periods, the trio created specialized hydration drinks using the DripDrop supplement. Additionally, they introduced new protein-rich snacks, such as energy bites, energy bars, and protein muffins, to enhance the players' nutrition and energy levels. 

Stoecklein oversees the entire nutrition department within the Detroit Tigers organization. This includes managing the quality of food, beverages, and supplements. Stoecklein also is responsible for catering both home and away games, ensuring that the players have access to nutritious and delicious meals wherever they play. 

And Stoecklein's expertise goes beyond the kitchen, as she provides valuable nutrition advice to the players. She conducts weigh-ins and body composition assessments for the players approximately once a month, enabling them to monitor their physical progress and make adjustments when necessary. She plays an essential role in educating the players about the significance of healthy eating for optimal athletic performance. The players go to Stoecklein with food-related questions, and for nutrition advice, because they value her expertise.

The commitment of Stoecklein, Gurne, and Benvenuti to creating healthy meals and snacks has contributed to the Detroit Tigers' success both on and off the field. These women are paving the way for a new standard of nutrition in professional sports, highlighting the invaluable connection between good food and peak performance.