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Fueling Your Performance: Unlocking the Power of Sports Nutrition with a Registered Dietitian

Posted May 31st, 2023

Fueling Your Performance: Unlocking the Power of Sports Nutrition with a Registered Dietitian

When it comes to fueling for sports performance, each athlete will have unique dietary needs. An athlete's level of competition, personal preferences and particular sport are all important factors in optimizing nutrition. Our Stittsville physiotherapists explain how using the services of a sports dietitian can help.

What is Sports Nutrition? 

Sports nutrition focuses on optimizing an athlete's diet to support their performance, training, recovery and general well-being. 

Within this specialized field, a dietitian customizes nutritional strategies to meet the unique demands of a range of sports. Your dietitian will consider several factors, such as your specific performance goals, individual preferences, training intensity and duration, and any challenges you may be facing. 

That said, sports nutrition isn't just about what you eat and drink before, during and after competing or training; it also covers a wide variety of topics including: 

  • Altering body composition 
  • Energy balance and nutrition periodization 
  • Managing specific allergies, intolerances or conditions (Celiac disease, etc. )
  • Managing nutrition-related concerns in a sports context (amenorrhea, gastrointestinal upset, nutritional deficiencies, etc.)
  • Creating a positive team culture around food 
  • Meal planning and other food skills (eg: planning ahead for out-of-town competition) 
  • Safe and appropriate use of ergogenic aides and supplements  
  • Identifying and preventing Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) in at-risk athletes

No matter which level you compete at, you can get the most out of your season by spending some time learning about sports nutrition. 

How can athletes benefit from seeing a sports dietician? 

Engaging in sports nutrition counselling can have many benefits for athletes. Here are some ways counselling can help boost your overall performance: 

  • Developing personalized nutrition plans: need help planning your nutrition around training and competition? Working with a dietitian can help you develop a nutrition plan that ensures you receive the right balance of nutrients to fuel performance
  • Optimizing energy levels: looking to minimize fatigue or gastric upset and improve endurance and focus on competition day? It’s not just what you eat that’s important, it’s when you eat it. Sports nutrition counselling can help maximize your energy availability when it counts the most by focusing on nutrient timing around competition.
  • Improved recovery: Post-workout nutrition is one of the keys to getting the most out of training (and preparing you for the next session.) Different types of training require different refuelling strategies and working with a dietitian can help you find what works best for you.
  • Body composition management: Through personalized nutrition plans, athletes can work towards goals such as muscle gain, fat loss, or weight maintenance, while still ensuring they have the ideal balance to support the demands of training.
  • Nutritional education and food skills: through counselling, athletes can gain a greater appreciation for the roles of different nutrients in supporting sports performance and overall health. They can also learn useful skills like meal planning and budgeting and feel empowered to make informed food choices.
  • Individualized support and accountability: Working with a sports nutrition dietitian  provides athletes with ongoing support and accountability. Regular check-ins and follow-up sessions allow for adjustments to be made to the nutrition plan as needed, as well as provide guidance, motivation, and problem-solving to help athletes stay on track with their nutrition goals.If you've ever looked up from reading the news or chatting with friends on your cell phone after an hour or so and noticed increasing pain and soreness in your neck, back and shoulder areas, you may be feeling the negative effects of excessive cell phone use. 

Registered Sports Dietitian Services at Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre 

Ruth Burrowes, our sports dietitian at our sister location in Nepean, can help you get on the right track to improved health, hydration, fueling, and performance, no matter the level of competition or sport you love! 

Are you wondering how a sports dietitian can help make sure your nutrition plan supports your goals? Our sports dietitian in Nepean can create a custom plan coupled with ongoing support.

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Have a question? Our team is here to help.

(613) 831-4054