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Mississippi State linebacker carried a cup of pickle juice?

Mississippi State linebacker Matthew Wells (22) unsuccessfully tries to catch a blocked first-quarter pass-attempt by Alcorn State quarterback Zerick Rollins Jr. (10) during their NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State linebacker Matthew Wells (22) unsuccessfully tries to catch a blocked first-quarter pass-attempt by Alcorn State quarterback Zerick Rollins Jr. (10) during their NCAA college football game at Davis Wade Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Starkville, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

A post-practice shower extinguished the stench of sweat but couldn’t conquer the aroma of pickles. The smell followed Matt Wells throughout the football complex as the Mississippi State linebacker carried a cup of pickle juice.

“I just like sour things like pickle juice,” Wells said.

Mission accomplished for Kelly White, Mississippi State’s nutritionist. She is the first employed by the athletic department and is assigned to refueling the Bulldogs’ players.

With White’s arrival, practice ends with a fruit stand rather than an immediate cool down in the ice bath. Players refuel with protein shakes, fruits and, yes, pickles.

The pickles contain a lot of salt which helps the body retain water. Fruits consist of a large percent of water. It’s one more way to keep players hydrated.

“We don’t want them thinking about drinking water,” White said. “They don’t know they’re drinking water. This is another way we can get more fluids in them.”

So far it’s worked.

“It’s a change for us. A lot of change as far as the fruits, smoothies and shakes, we love it,” Wells said. “My body feels real good. It’s good for your body to recover and get healthy stuff in your body.”

MSU hired head strength coach Rick Court, and he made sure the school had a nutritionist.

“I think the addition is going to help,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “She makes sure we provide the right food for the players, even down to snacks they get after coming off the practice field to make sure they are replenishing their bodies.”

White played volleyball in college at Mississippi University for Women. She worked at OCH Medical Center as a sports dietician for eight years. During that time, she worked with Mississippi State’s athletes. It’s now a full-time role.

“All I know is being active and being coached and eating right,” said White who’s a marathon runner and has completed five iron man competitions.

She doesn’t have complete control over what the team feeds its players. She suggests healthier options depending on what a players’ goal is.

For those needing to lose weight, replacing Gatorade with its low-calorie version G2 or its flavored water brand Propel can help. White said athletes often forget fluids contain calories as well. The same is true with lower calorie dips and condiments.

She asks players to cut about 500 calories a day. During a week’s time that equates to a pound of fat.

For those needing to gain weight, she suggested almonds, nuts, trail mix, bread, rice, pasta and protein shakes are options.

“It’s more than me telling them what to eat at dinner,” White said. “I can do that as much as I can. But they still have to go home. I don’t know what they’re doing when I’m not there.”

So White works on behaviors. Do players need to snack more or less? What should they be snacking on?

“As they start to buy into it and things start working, then we’ll work more on behaviors,” White said.

White works with every program at Mississippi State, but she and her six graduate assistants can only be at so many places. Her suggestions make the road trips though. White plans out potential meal options for teams on the road. There are only a certain number of options away from campus, but if a team must stop at chain restaurant there are healthier options at each stop.

“I’ve been on the road with athletes. I’ve seen what’s available,” White said. “I thought even when I was in college this could be so much better”

Teams look for every advantage possible; from quieting distractions by closing practices to quizzing their players on the gameplan. Coaches believe every inch in practice can lead to a mile in a game. Game planning continues to evolve as new technology infiltrates sports. Mississippi State’s newest addition is a simple one, but is expected to return big dividends.

“It’s that last percent that they need,” White said “This is such a competitive sport, we’re looking for every avenue of another way to help them perform better.”

Contact Michael Bonner at (601) 961-7289 or Follow @MikeBBonner on Twitter.


Lots of Cool Stuff In Our New Web-store

We have some great gift ideas in the Pickle Souvenirs section of our web-store

Pickle Band Aids


Our Web-store Has Re-opened and is shipping again.

Every summer, due to the weather, we need to close down our internet store for a couple of weeks. This year we took that down time to rebuild our store. Please visit our new Web-store at

Pickle Licious Pickles Online






What you should know about Pickle Licious

We specialize in pickles, of course, sold in all different sizes.

We are also famous for our homemade olive tapenade, green olives, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomato paste, marinated artichokes, and stuffed grape leaves.

We offer 7 varieties of hummus — original, horseradish, lemon garlic, kalamata, hot pepper, sweet red pepper, and sun-dried tomato.

We have created our own mixes, named after family or staff. Taylor’s Hot & Spicy Mushrooms, Alex’s Sun-Dried Olive Mix & Carol’s Lemon Zest Olive Mix.

Gift-wrapped mason jars of pickled goodies are a big hit for any occasion, be it a holiday, sporting event or just hanging with friends.

Certified Kosher (RCBC), our platters are popular as a hostess gift or for Shabbos.

There’s a real brick bar filled with all kinds of pickled goodies. Come in, check it out and do what every first-timer does — touch it and exclaim, “Wow, that’s real!”

We also carry a wide variety of Penny candy, chips, dips, grilling sauces, marinades & mustards. What better way to kick off you grilling season!

Browse the free sample table, breath in the pickle aroma and treat yourself to a pickle-on-a-stick for just $1. You’ll probably have it devoured before you leave.

Chocolate dipped pickles for just $3 are available on Fridays and Sundays. Don’t laugh, just give it a try and you`ll like it!

On Sunday we have our family day and each child gets a free pickle-on-a-stick with your purchase.

Find us at the farmers markets. You’ll never know what we’ll be pickling next!