Chris Rosimus discusses Nutrition with one of the Leicester City players
NUTRITION AND FOOTBALL
Nutritional Therapists make dietary recommendations to individuals to alleviate and prevent ailments. It is founded in the belief that nutritional and biochemical imbalances in the body will lead to ill health. Recommendations are made to avoid toxins and allergens, detoxification and utilise supplementary nutrients such as high-dose vitamins. The objective is to improve general health and lifestyle and can be used for people with chronic health conditions. This field is normally classed as complementary medicine and may be used alongside conventional treatment and in contact with other healthcare professionals.
There are a range of courses available at undergraduate and postgraduate level to become a registered nutritionist. Normally you will require at least a BSc (Hons) in nutritional science, which normally run for three years at a full time basis. During these courses students will undertake work placements to gain practical experience in the field.
ABB including Chemistry and Biology
The role of a performance nutritionist working within professional football is to contribute towards minimising the impact of illness and injury, help to facilitate training adaptations and support match day performance/recovery. This is achieved through the application of evidenced based nutritional interventions, practically and pragmatically applied in the field. This includes undertaking regular body composition assessment to determine each player’s ideal body fat levels, comprehensive dietary analysis to determine each players nutritional status and bespoke interventions to support a given performance, training or rehab goal and to develop a performance nutrition strategy for the club. In addition, detailed catering guides must be developed for the training ground and hotels to ensure that high quality nutrition is being provided consistently to ensure that optimum performance, health and recovery can be achieved. Furthermore, it is critically important to quality assure and sports nutrition supplementation that is being provided to the players in order to reduce the risk of the inadvertent use of banned substances. For any performance nutritionist working in professional football, the ability to forge effective working relationships with the sports science and medicine department is a key determinant of success. This is particularly important given that the majority of performance nutritionist work as part time consultants and their time spent in and around the football club may be limited.
You should have
- A qualification at degree level (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject. Registered Nutritionist or Dietician (or equivalent)
- A qualification at a higher degree level (MSc or equivalent)
- A PhD (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject
- Extensive, demonstrable experience in the provision of nutrition support to athletes and coaches to improve performance.
- This experience should include extensive work with national teams and their athletes, ideally within track and field
The FMA recommends:
With a mission to promote excellence in their discipline through evidence-based practice, performance nutritionists are encouraged to ascertain accreditation on the Sports & Exercise Nutritionist Register (SENR). However, modern day performance nutritionists are working more intimately with coaches and athletes in the field rather than in the consultation room. This requires a high level of soft skills that are rarely published in scientific literature and difficult to measure. The modern day performance nutritionist should be equipped with a strong set of inter-personal coaching skills to enable them to maximize their impact with coaches, support staff and athletes in any high performance environment.