Sports Performance Nutrition Services

IUP Sports Performance Nutrition Services is directed by Nicole Dann-Payne, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CHWC and staffed by graduate students of the Department of Food and Nutrition. SPNS is sponsored by the IUP Department of Food and Nutrition in support of the Athletics Department.

SPNS provides IUP and local high school athletes and coaches with personalized and sport-specific nutrition strategies to optimize athletic performance and training.

A dietetic intern nutrition coaching an IUP football player so that he can optimize his performance on the field.Goals of SPNS

  • To assist athletes and coaches by providing evidence-based, sport-specific nutrition coaching.
  • To assist the Department of Food and Nutrition and Sports Medicine with educated dietetic students and student athletic trainers about sports nutrition instruction.
  • To provide sports nutrition education and practical experience to Food and Nutrition graduate students.

Services Offered

We offer individualized nutrition coaching, team and small group presentations, newsletters, and informational bulletin boards to educate athletes about nutrition topics related to health and human performance.

An IUP swimmer receives nutrition coaching from a graduate assistant and a dietetic intern.Individualized counseling topics include:

  • Enhancing athletic performance
  • Safe and effective weight loss or weight gain
  • Evidence-based information about sports supplements

Team and small group presentations typically last between 15 to 60 minutes and address relevant topics within sports nutrition, including:

  • The importance of carbohydrates
  • Fluid replacement
  • Protein consumption
  • Eating on-the-road
  • Pre- and post-competition nutrition
  • Ergogenic aids

Contact us for an individualized appointment or a group presentation!

Sports Performance Nutrition Office

Location: G21-B Memorial Field House

Phone: 724-357-3094

Office Hours: Available on the answering machine


Nicole Dann-Payne

Nicole Dann-Payne, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CHWC


Nicole Dann-Payne's educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in sports nutrition and dietetics from Mansfield University and a master of science in nutrition degree from IUP.

Dann-Payne is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian nutritionist in Pennsylvania. Her research interests include sports nutrition, wellness, and exercise science.

Sports Nutritionists

Paige Finkenbinder, RDN

Paige Finkenbinder, RDPaige Finkenbinder is a registered dietitian, working as a graduate assistant in the sport nutrition office. She holds her bachelors of science in nutrition and dietetics, with a minor in psychology from IUP. She has experience in sports nutrition through undergraduate classes, as well as completing her dietetic internship through IUP, which emphasized practice in clinical, sports, management, and community nutrition. Paige is currently completing her masters of science in food and nutrition education. In her free time, Paige finds herself working out, traveling and being with friends and family.

Goals that Paige hopes to obtain while working in the Sports Performance Nutrition Office:

  • Help athletes to continue to have access to the office and it's services to receive nutritional guidance, even remotely.
  • Gain experience on educating athletes/teams on nutritional needs via series events.
  • Increasing the number of athletes receiving nutrition counseling by easy accessibility to the nutrition services via video conferences.

Zack King

Zack KingZack King is a graduate student at IUP studying exercise science with a focus on strength and conditioning and physical therapy. He earned his bachelor of science degree in nutrition and dietetics from IUP. Currently he works as a graduate assistant for the Sports Performance Nutrition Services. He has received prior experience through the completion of FDNT 245 Sports Nutrition and FDNT 545 Advanced Sports Nutrition as well as managing the athlete fueling station and writing Gold Medal Meals newsletters over the past three years. In his free time, Zack likes to read, strength train, and play with his cats.

Goals that Zack hopes to obtain while working in the Sports Performance Nutrition Office:

  • Gain experience counseling collegiate athletes in various sports.
  • Learn the most effective way to incorporate proper nutrition into sports performance for athletes of all sports.
  • Help student athletes understand the fundamentals of sports nutrition and how to apply them to their sport.