With the growing demand for sports and the increasing number of athletes (whether they are beginners or not) , the need for health professionals also grows. Thus, a profession that gained prominence was nutrition. In a more specific case, the sports nutritionist.
This professional is prepared to offer more complete monitoring to athletes, unlike a clinical nutritionist, for example.
Are you curious to know more about the subject? Check out this article in detail the professional in that field!
What is a sports nutritionist?
Before talking in detail about the sports nutritionist, it is necessary to understand what a nutrition professional does in the first moment!
He has skills and knowledge about the nutritional composition of foods, develops and organizes meal plans (which would be diets), performs nutritional assessment of a patient to ascertain his condition and much more.
It is not in all cases that training in nutrition deepens or has specific subjects for the sports area, however there are specializations for this case. If you want a diet just for lose or gain weight, a general nutritionist can be a great support.
For the specialization of the area, the sports nutritionist will ascertain the weight gain and loss according to his physical activities, adapting his diet to have no shortage, be it mineral, fiber or protein. Together, the highlight of the professional is that he works with the athlete’s team, to further adapt whatever is necessary for his food.
What does a sports nutritionist do?
The sports nutritionist will thus provide the necessary guidance on diet, physical exercise, the use of vitamins, minerals and possibly supplements for each athlete, according to their training and goals. And all that work is done in a way that focuses on improving your performance.
According to nutritionist Eunice Barros:
‘ Physical activity and performance is directly linked to nutrition, so the accompaniment of a sports nutritionist is essential. ‘
He is able to understand biotypes, the appropriate body composition for each type of sport and how to improve performance. In addition, it also assists in how to gain or lose body mass. In addition, in cases of muscle strengthening, gaining muscle mass and defining it.
Therefore, it is clear that this professional understands a lot about physiology, biochemistry of exercise and even about sports training. If you are looking for these needs, look for this professional and not a general nutritionist, as he may not be the most suitable for you.
Performance of the sports nutritionist
Sports nutritionists do plan a diet, usually for day to day, including pre and post training. Still, the professional manages to act and help in other processes, which we will list below:
Assesses body composition
As a result of sports training, our body has some modifications and adaptations of the different components of our body, such as muscles and fats. Many of them cannot be identified with common indicators, as the BMI (Body Mass Index), as this does not differ the composition of the weight.
That is why a sports nutritionist must have the necessary skills to make an assessment of body composition. This allows to know at the beginning, the body fat, the muscular mass and also all the other indicators that the athlete must know to keep his health up to date during the activities and training that he performs.
Organizes and defines a diet for training and also for competitions
It is common to think that food is important only in the case of competing athletes, but it is also essential throughout a training process. Diet is essential because it forms the basis where it applies the training loads and is a key element also in the athlete’s recovery.
The sports nutritionist must know the type of training that the sportsman is carrying out in order to organize the diet, respecting the conditions and routine of each athlete. It is not enough to just cover each person’s energy and nutrient expenditure, it is also necessary to provide the right nutrients, both in quantity and at the appropriate time!
Create and apply hydration plans
Hydration has a positive, direct and fundamental effect on performance during training and competitions. The sports nutritionist is in charge of organizing hydration taking into account the rates and pace of each one (since not all people produce the same amounts of sweat).
For each athlete to have a different metabolism, the professional will assess the need and define the best hydration for each case.
Includes ergogenic and nutritional aids in the diet
Even with the abundant variety of sports supplement products on the market, only a few supplements can have a positive effect on training. It would be in this key case that the nutritionist indicates ergogenic aids. They serve to improve the athlete’s performance, going beyond his feeding routine.
Shares information with a multidisciplinary team
Food is essential for each athlete to have the energetic substances necessary to carry out their training, as well as for the recovery processes to be carried out in a precise manner.
That is why it is of fundamental importance that sports nutritionists work together with coaches and other team members. The purpose is to identify the changes that happen in the amount and intensity of training, so it is necessary that all the professionals mentioned work in teams to have the best performance of the athlete.
Assists in exercise and physical activity
The sports nutritionist acts and assists in physical activities, being those that any movement requires energy. The most common are workouts like dancing and running. The specialist, in this case, supervises food and assesses whether the activity helps to reduce weight and body fat index.
In the case of exercises, they have specific goals, such as resistance or increase in lean mass. It always includes a warm-up phase , the training phase and the relaxation phase. The specialist, in this case, will supervise your diet and assess whether the exercise achieves its goals.
There are times when the use of supplements is recommended, but almost always with the adjustment of carbohydrates and proteins we have already managed to maintain a good physical performance.
Therefore, his various performances prove the real need of this professional. And it is worth remembering that it is essential that the athlete look for a physical educator to adjust the training according to the diet!
What does a sports nutritionist do?
Bearing in mind his duties, it is recommended to also know what this professional does not do, because like every human and professional in an area, he will not serve or assist at all.
Do not prescribe medication
Many think that, when looking for a sports nutritionist, they will be able to order medicines and products that make them lose weight, for example.
Undoubtedly, it is necessary to make it clear that, although there are a few pharmacists authorized for this purpose, the only professional who can prescribe medications is a doctor!
Does not create training plans
Just as it is necessary to have specific training to prescribe diets and eating plans, it is essential to seek and have a professional with specific training to assess physical conditions.
Nutrition training does not prepare professionals to choose the best physical exercises to be practiced by each person. This is a task for a coach.
It doesn’t work miracle
Finally, it is worth bearing in mind that this professional will not perform a miracle in your life. It will just give you a ‘step by step’. Yet. the path to be taken depends solely and exclusively on you. Do not think that when you consult a sports nutritionist, the next day your life will be resolved. That kind of thinking is very utopian, so be down to earth and determined with your routine.
Where to find a sports nutritionist?
With the growing number of fans of physical activities, there are several companies and services that offer the skills of this type of professional.
It is very important to research well before choosing, to make sure that you are consulting with a quality professional and that you have all the necessary skills to provide the service in the best possible way.
According to nutritionist Eunice Barros:
“ It is recommended that athletes look for a sports nutritionist because, first, correct food is an essential factor for any athlete who seeks excellence in physical exercise. ”
If you have an agreement, see if the plan covers the cost of the consultation to save. Otherwise, look for directions and find out about this professional’s assessments with others.
Is the importance of this professional clear? Now that you know what he does with details, seek the help of one, in case your routine needs it!
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