Why should you, an athlete, work with a sport dietitian? Well, most athletes would agree that nutrition is a key component of great athletic performance. We know that when we eat better we feel better, can train better, and therefore compete better. Despite knowing about the importance of nutrition, few athletes give their personal nutrition strategy the time and attention it deserves.
Unfortunately, some of the athletes who do pay attention to their nutrition might wind up following advice they happen to find online, which can take them down a winding road of misinformation. Whether it’s the latest fad diet, excessive supplements, or advice not meant for athletes at all, the internet tends to be full of more bad advice than good.
So, if you’re an athlete who wants personalized, high quality nutrition advice that’s tailored to your unique training demands, look no further than a sport dietitian!
When working with a sport dietitian…
1. You’ll learn how to fuel your body appropriately and adequately
Athletes need more calories than sedentary people. While this isn’t a particularly surprising fact (at least for most people anyway!), it is surprising how few athletes are fueling their bodies adequately. This can be due to things like body composition, weight concerns, or a simple lack of awareness of how much fuel an active body really needs. Whatever the reason, many athletes are just chronically under-fueling. Some estimates put that number as high as 70%!
Under-eating can lead to a situation called RED-S, which stands for Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. This is when under-fueling becomes enough of an issue that we can actually see the detrimental effects its having on an athlete. This can certainly include performance impairment, but also less obvious symptoms like:
- Frequent injuries
- Frequent illnesses
- Poor sleep quality/ fatigue
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Memory and mood issues.
- Loss of muscle mass
The fix for RED-S? Getting enough to eat on a consistent basis.
2. You’ll learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to fueling your body for your sport.
There is no shortage of nutrition and fitness information online that’s for sure! Unfortunately not all of it is accurate, and this can have serious consequences for athletes, both competitive and recreational. Some athletes might find themselves following advice that isn’t appropriate for athletes at all, like following low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diets that are meant for people with completely different health concerns. Others might wind up taking supplements that are at best a waste of money, at worst harmful to their health.
Learn more about the potential pitfalls for athletes when it comes to some common diets here!
3. You’ll learn the importance of nutrient timing, meal timing, and having a hydration strategy as part of your personalized nutrition plan
Getting enough calories in each day is absolutely critical for athletic performance. But, beyond that there are still some other pieces of your nutrition puzzle that are worth sorting out. Things like macronutrient distribution, which is what percent of your total calories come from fat, carbs. You’ll also learn how to time your meals around your training, and what those meals should contain to get the most bang for your buck.
When it comes to hydration, getting the right balance is also key. Too little fluid is definitely problematic when it comes to performance, and dehydration is a common issue for athletes. But, too much fluid, or the wrong fluids at the wrong time can also be the cause of gastrointestinal distress or impaired performance.
A Sport Dietitian will help you plan, prioritize, and strategize your nutrition around your training demands. To read more about the step by step approach athletes should take when it comes to eating well, click here: Calories vs Carbs: What Really Matters When It Comes to Sport Nutrition?
4. You’ll learn if there are any sport supplements you should be taking, without wasting time and money on things that are unsafe or unnecessary
Supplements are just part of daily life for many athletes. But do you know what you’re taking and why? Are your supplements being taken in the right dose, at the right time to actually contribute to better performance? Are you confident that you know all of the ingredients in a product and that they’re both safe and effective? Does your overall supplement routine match your goals? A sport dietitian can guide you with the answers to these questions.
5. You’ll learn how to manage other health or nutrition concerns
Athletes are still humans, and can sometimes experience health concerns outside of a typical ‘performance nutrition’. Some of these things could be training related like GI distress during training or competitions, or optimizing body composition for better performance. Others however might have little to do with your identity as an athlete- whether it’s managing a chronic condition, fixing nutrient deficiencies, or adapting to big life events like pregnancy and breastfeeding. Working with a sport dietitian will give you the knowledge and resources you need to feel your best both on and off the track, field, or court.
So, why work with a sport dietitian? Well, if you’re an athlete who wants to truly reach their peak athletic performance, having someone on your coaching team who can help you create and execute a nutrition strategy is a no-brainer for reaching your goals. Learn how to avoid common nutrition pitfalls athletes often encounter, like under-fueling, or over-supplementing. If you eat like an athlete, you’re sure to perform like one!
Do you want to learn how to optimize your athletic performance with simple, personalized nutrition strategies? Click here to get all the details for my one on one nutrition coaching programs, and Apply for a spot!