Sports Nutritionist- Careers, Job Description and Benefits

Published On: September 16, 2022

Not so long ago, people did not consider consuming supplements, or energy drinks. Cut to 2022, everyone is health-conscious, and people are taking extra care of what they eat and cutting down the consumption of junk food to remain healthy.

People are now becoming more aware of what they consume and have become cautious about their nutritional intake. This is also a major reason why the nutrition industry has grown exponentially. The products sold by the nutritional industry also undergo thorough quality checks and are inspected under strict regulations, just like the pharmaceutical industry.

One major factor, that has contributed to the phenomenal growth of the nutrition industry is the sports industry. Sporting icons promoting healthy diets and supplements that aid in boosting immunity have led the general population to buy health supplements. According to an EY India report, the dietary supplements market in India grew at a CAGR of 15% to reach ₹331 billion in FY21. High demand for health supplements, protein bars and energy drinks, youngsters actively taking part in exercises that require high levels of fitness, the health-conscious mentality of Millennials and Gen-Z alike and busting myths about the supplements have also aided in the growth of the sports nutrition market in India.

Athletes serious about their health are constantly training hard and are in search of ways that will enable them to take their performance to the next level. Their goal is to take steps to maintain good health and create a good post-exercise recovery method.

Nutritionists also play an important role in an athlete’s performance. They evaluate the athlete’s current health condition, understand what is expected of the athlete and devise diet plans that will aid the athlete to train in an optimum way and enhance their performance. Athletes must be educated on what and how much food they must consume and most importantly should be told what they are not supposed to consume and why.

An athlete challenges his body on a regular basis through physical training and competitions. In order to keep up with the requirements of his activity or sport, the athlete requires enough fuel for daily training. Nutrition is important for an athlete because it provides the energy required to perform the activity. The food they take leaves an impact on strength, training, performance and recovery. Not only the type of food that is consumed is important for sports nutrition but the time is equally important for what they eat and when they eat throughout the day.

A nutritionist will only be able to guide the athlete properly if they are trained well and are well aware of what is needed from them.

What is the job description of a sports nutritionist?

Sports nutritionists have access to the athlete’s specific nutritional needs and they accordingly customise a diet plan and recommend changes to their current plan.

They are able to achieve it because of the excellent training they went through during their formative years. If you also want to become a leading sports nutritionist then you also must enrol at IISM which is India’s leading sports management and science education institute.

When you enrol in a Bachelor of Sports Science or Master of Sports Science degree course at IISM, you will learn about varied aspects of the sports science world including sports nutrition.

This formal education helps you be industry ready. To make aspiring students industry-ready, IISM has collaborated with industry experts and curated these courses that create a strong foundation for our students.

The first step that a nutritionist will do when they interact with an athlete is to understand their current diet plan and explain crucial aspects of nutrition they must know.

The following part is analysing the athlete’s diet, comparing the previous results athletes achieved while adhering to the diet plan and making necessary changes.

If the athlete is on a strict budget, then the diet plans will change accordingly. Over time the nutritionist will note down the effects of the new diet on the athlete and their performance. If the changes are what they had expected, the nutritionist will continue the diet plans or make changes to meet the requirement of the athlete.

How to become a sports nutritionist?

To become a sports nutritionist, a candidate needs to pursue Bachelor in Sports Science, Master of Sports Science, or B.Sc.(food science and nutrition) in dietetics or nutrition, PG in Sports Nutrition and Master in Sports Nutrition.
A student must clear their 12th standard board exam in science and must have an interest in learning more about biology and medical terms. However, every institute has its own criteria that the student must fulfil to secure admission.

You can secure Admission at IISM by clearing SSAT, which is our entrance test exam.

What are your career prospects after completing the nutritionist course?

Once you have completed your formal education, you can get appointed as a sports nutritionist, sports scientist, sports dietitian, health coach, holistic nutritionist and expert in nutrition performance.

A sports nutritionist can work in all sectors such as government, and private and start their own practice. There is a lot of scope in today’s date and time, as the number of people who are taking very good care of their health is on the rise. If you become a sports nutritionist, then you also get to travel with the team to their sporting venues and ensure the athletes adhere to a strict diet. This ensures their performance will be at its peak during the game.

Learn more about the career prospects after becoming a sports nutritionist by Ms. Aradhana Sharma, Senior Sports Science Consultant, IISM Visiting Faculty at IISM.

What are the benefits of becoming a Sports Nutritionist?

Sports Nutritionist Benefits

The benefits of working as a sports nutritionist are as follows: –

  1. You can help athletes enhance their performance
  2. You can do a job that you love
  3. You can choose from multiple career options
  4. You get to work at numerous places with renowned players, teams and explore the field like never before
  5. You will be in a position of authority.

How can a sports nutritionist help you create healthy lifestyle choices?

During the initial consultation with a sports nutritionist, they will ask you questions about your health and nutritional needs. Once they have thorough information about your eating habits and nutritional needs, they will work on diet plans that will help the athlete achieve their goal. They enhance their performance apart from suggesting diets by asking the athletes to go cycling, participate in various triathlons and take up running in a marathon.

Overall, a sports nutritionist is the one who can suggest the best course of action for someone who wants to make improvements to their lifestyle by taking into account their intake of food.

If you are also fascinated by the works of a sports nutritionist and are aiming to become a leading sports nutritionist, then enrol for our sports science degree programs here at IISM.

Thank you!

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