Performance nutrition is about helping an athlete choose the right foods and fluids in the right quantity, and at the right time.
This can help to promote maximal training gains, reduce risk of illness, enhance recovery between training sessions and achieve optimum body size & build for their sport.
Nutrition in the sportscotland institute of sport network aims to provide an integrated service primarily involving the athlete, coaches, medical team & performance lifestyle team.
To be most effective as a performance nutritionist requires observation of the athletes in training and competition. This allows practical problems to be seen and addressed and creates an awareness of the cultures and pressures that a particular sport can have on athletes. It is absolutely vital to communicate with personal coaches & strength and conditioning coaches to ensure athlete's nutrition is adjusted as their training programme adapts over the training year to allow maximised training gains and peaking for key competitions.
Nutritionists also work with performance lifestyle, in particular with newly inducted athletes, those moving away from home for the fist time or those athletes that require support to organise day-to-day living issues including food preparation. All can pose challenges that require a holistic support which overviews the athlete's lifestyle.
In essence, working together as a support team allows the best support to an athlete's nutrition. It allows the nutritionist to provide a more proactive role in limiting potential nutrition problems and provides strategies that ensure the correct balance of nutrients are met at the right time over an athlete's career.