What Do Sports Dietitians Do?

Sports dietitians work with athletes to help them optimize their performance through nutrition. Learn more about what sports dietitians do and how they can help you.

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Sports dietitians work with athletes, coaches, and other members of the sports medicine team to optimize the health and performance of athletes. They use their knowledge of nutrition and exercise science to develop individualized meal plans, supplement recommendations, and hydration strategies. Additionally, they may provide education on topics such as body composition, eating disorders, and disordered eating behaviors.

No two days are the same for a sports dietitian! In addition to working with individual athletes, they may also conduct cooking demonstrations, grocery store tours, and educational workshops. They may also be involved in research projects or write articles for magazines and websites.

What is a sports dietitian?

Sports dietitians are professionals who help athletes and active people optimize their health and performance through food and nutrition. As part of a team of sport and exercise professionals, sports dietitians work with athletes of all ages and abilities to ensure they are eating the right foods to meet their energy needs, recover from training and competition, and prevent nutrition-related health problems.

What do sports dietitians do?

Sports dietitians work with athletes to help them optimize their performance through carefully planned meals and snacks. They take into account the strenuous physical activity that athletes endure on a daily basis and design eating plans that will replenish energy stores, repair muscles, and promote overall health. Sports dietitians also educate athletes on the importance of healthy eating habits for both short-term and long-term success.

What are the benefits of working with a sports dietitian?

There are many benefits to working with a sports dietitian, including:

-Improvement in overall nutrition
-Weight management
-Increased energy levels
-Improved recovery from training and competition
-Reduced risk of injury
-Improved mental focus and concentration
-Improved performance

How to become a sports dietitian

Becoming a sports dietitian requires completion of an accredited university degree in dietetics, which takes around four years. You must also complete an accredited internship program, which takes around one year. After that, you must pass a registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

What education and training is required?

In order to become a sports dietitian, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food, and nutrition; exercise science; or a related field. After you have completed your undergraduate degree, you must then complete a supervised practice program, which can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Once you have completed your education and training requirements, you will then need to pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

What are the job prospects?

The job outlook for sports dietitians is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.1

A bachelor’s degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, or a related field is required for most entry-level positions as a dietitian. Some States have licensure laws for dietitians and nutritionists. Voluntary certification is also available for those who meet specific requirements, such as completing an accredited program and passing an exam.2

Demand for sports dietitians will likely increase as research continues to show the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. In addition, the growing popularity of health-promoting activities such as exercise and sports will lead to more opportunities for sports dietitians who work with athletes and other active people to help them eat right for peak performance.


As you can see, sports dietitians play a vital role in helping athletes train, perform and recover. They work with athletes of all levels to create individualized Nutrition Plans that match each athlete’s unique needs. If you are interested in becoming a sports dietitian, you will need to complete a Master’s degree in nutrition or a related field.

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