Happy Registered Dietitian Day! March 14th celebrates all of the hard work and dedication that registered dietitians throughout the country do to make our society a healthier place. Registered Dietitians are the nutrition experts, specializing in many different areas such as weight loss, pediatrics, food allergies, and chronic diseases. Although I have experience counseling patients for a variety of conditions, my true passion in nutrition lies in sports nutrition. The Board Certification as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) credential is the premier professional sports nutrition credential in the United States. CSSDs are registered dietitians who provide safe, effective, evidence-based nutrition services for health, fitness and athletic performance. The best way to locate a sports dietitian closest to you is to contact the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) group at www.scandpg.org.
Therefore, in honor of RD Day, I have compiled the “Top 14” reasons to consult a sports dietitian, whether you are a weekend warrior, daily gym rat, or competitive athlete.
1. You want to improve exercise or sports performance.
2. You desire to gain muscle mass or lose body fat.
3. You want to gain muscular strength and power.
4. You want to increase stamina and endurance in your sport.
5. You want ideas for food to eat before, during, and after exercise or sporting event.
6. You want to choose the best fluids to drink before, during, and after exercise and sport to stay adequately hydrated.
7. You want to make better food choices and need ideas for buying and preparing food.
8. You have food allergies and intolerances and want to know the best choices for your condition and how food and medicine interact.
9. You experience gastrointestinal problems that keep you from performing at your best and you want solutions.
10. You are an athlete or active individual who has a medical condition, for instance, diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, compromised bone health, abnormal iron status food allergies, or gastrointestinal problems such as gluten sensitivity, and need nutrition guidance and a personalized meal plan.
11. You want to speed your recovery following intense training, competition, surgery, illness, or injury.
12. You want to develop lifelong nutrition strategies to complement annual preparation, competition, and off-season plans.
13. You want to learn how to choose, store, and prepare healthy foods to fuel your body.
14. You feel the need to have someone assist you in the management of your body weight and body composition.
The key to optimal meal planning for athletes is individualization. Contact a registered dietitian for personalized nutrition plans and advice. Remember to demand experience, demand excellence, and demand a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics!