A sports nutritionist has a complicated role. It requires in-depth knowledge of nutrition and sports performance. A sports nutritionist should be able to consult with athletes about their ideal diet. They must also be able to incorporate the maximum amount of physical conditioning desired by the athlete into the designed dietary regimen.
Generally, athletes need to achieve their highest level of performance or reach their highest level at a certain point in the season. This peak performance will be determined to some extent by dietary factors. The best sports nutritionist will know how to reach this peak through dietary measures. The Gatorade Sports Nutrition Immersion Program (SNIP) connects full-time sports dieticians with CPSDA members interested in gaining more hands-on experience working with athletes and sports programs.
Being recognized for your experience and credentials will position you as the professional to contact when sports nutrition problems arise. Watch the following video that highlights the experiences of Gatorade's immersion sports nutrition interns. Since this is a competitive position, it may be worthwhile to obtain a master's degree in Nutritional Science or a related subject, in addition to obtaining certification from the National Strength Conditioning Association & as a certified strength conditioning specialist of 26% or the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a specialist in performance improvement. The following example of a sports dietician job description comes from an actual job offer for the position of adjunct sports dietician at a large private university.
The work of a sports nutritionist and a sports dietician can be very complicated and requires specific training and education. Finding a job as a sports nutritionist The sports dietitian has guidelines similar to those of finding a job in any specific industry or field. One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in sports dietetics is having the opportunity to work with incredibly motivated athletes and the feeling of accomplishment when your clients perform better in their respective sports. Dietary internships and coordinated programs in dietetics may also meet sports nutrition education criteria.
The SCAN Sports Performance subunit focuses on the special needs of sports dietetics professionals, including obtaining the specialty credential from the CSSD. The “gold standard” accreditation for practicing sports nutrition as a professional is offered by the SCAN (Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition) division of the ADA (American Dietetics Association). Because of the variety of skills and competencies required, sports nutrition is not an entry-level position. Participating in competitive or recreational sports will help you understand the nutritional challenges that athletes face.
An aspiring sports nutritionist will need to complete a degree program in nutrition or a related field. The sports dietician is, without a doubt, a demanding and stimulating career in nutrition that involves close collaboration with competitive athletes, most of whom performance and subsequent success are largely based on their diet. There are basic requirements and qualifications necessary to call yourself a sports nutritionist or sports dietician. As sports performance increases and the appreciation for nourishing the body improves, so do job opportunities for nutrition professionals.