Both are food and nutrition professionals who can potentially help translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. They use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes.
RD's are health professionals who have university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in various settings. A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term "nutritionist" is not protected by law and therefore anyone can call themself a "Nutritionist".
What is a Sports Dietitian
- Applies the science of sports nutrition to optimize training and performance
- Provides individualized sports medical nutrition therapy for specific populations
- Creates customized sports nutrition programs
- Plays an integral role in optimizing the training, recovery and performance of athletes
- Advises athletes and coaches on dietary supplements, sports foods for legality, safety and efficacy
What does a Sports Dietitian do?
- Conducts individual nutrition assessments and consultations
- Educates in food selection, purchasing and preparation
- Addresses specific nutritional challenges related to gastrointestinal issues, iron depletion, eating disorders, female athlete triad, food allergies, etc.
- Designs and conducts sports team education
- Optimize nutrition to help facilitate wound and injury healing
- Delays fatigue during exercise and speed recovery from training
- Oversees menu planning and design, including pre- and post-event and travel schedules
- Provides medical nutrition therapy for conditions such as diabetes, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
Does This Really Matter?
Yes and No. There are ultra-knowledgable "nutritionists", as well as RD's that lack the real world knowledge necessary to meet an athlete's needs. Where we excel is at Real-World-Application that is driven by science. When it comes to helping athletes gain a competitive edge, results in the athlete are the only true measure of any method or program- and the most effective way to get positive results is with proven methods that work in the real world. This is where we believe that our extensive experience as athlete, coach and professional- and the relative point-of-reference needed to successfully implement any usable information quickly and effectively sets us apart from the rest.
Anyone can research science-based approaches- but even science sometimes doesn't paint a comprehensive enough picture. You could also search the internet and find hundreds of theories that come from anecdotal evidence. Either of those approaches could leave you running in circles and going nowhere... and, that's where we come in.