Sports nutrition is the foundation of athletic success. It is a well-designed nutrition plan that allows active adults and athletes to perform at their best. Effective sports nutrition aims to supply the right food type, energy, nutrients, use of supplements and fluids specific to each individual.
Effective sports nutrition will:
1. Minimise risk of injury and illness
2. Maximise athletic performance in their chosen sport
3. Ensure athletes are recovery effectively after training or competition
The role of a sports dietitian
Sports dietitians play an active role within the multidisciplinary team working alongside physios, coaches, and sports psychologists to maximise athletic performance. Sports dietitians generally work with active children and adults, sports teams and competitive and injured athletes.
They provide individualised and sport-specific evidence-based nutritional advice which incorporates individual preferences, environmental factors, and nutrition goals. Examples of individual goals could include gaining lean mass, improving body composition, or enhancing athletic performance. Uniquely, sports dietitians consider any medical conditions the athlete may have e.g. diabetes or coeliac disease.
Many athletes have busy lifestyles and training schedules, therefore sports dietitians develop nutritional strategies to ensure athletes make informed nutritional choices to support their training, performance, refuelling and recovery.