When you think of sports nutrition, you may think it only pertains to athletes. However, anyone who regularly exercises would benefit from sports nutrition, especially if he or she is looking to obtain a certain level of physical fitness or health.
Does it matter what I eat when I’m going to work out? Absolutely!
For example, Jane works out for 40 minutes daily (20 minutes on the elliptical machine, followed by 20 minutes on the weight machines). After one year, however, she sees no appreciable results. Yes, she’s lost a couple of pounds, but the “buff and toned” look she was going for hasn’t materialized. After consulting with a sports and exercise registered dietitian for goal-specific meal planning around her exercise routine and lifestyle, she sees results within three months.
The role of the registered dietitian, certified in sports and exercise nutrition, is to guide athletes or sports enthusiasts in planning a meal regimen which will maximize athletic performance by combining sports and nutrition.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a whole section to its website devoted to great tips relating to nutrition, sports and exercise. And the Daily Food Plan at choosemyplate.gov provides meal planning guidance based on your height, weight, age and physical activity level; PDFs of food planning worksheets; and other useful resources.
Sports nutrition counseling is also provided as part of the hospital’s nutrition counseling services.
Anders Grant, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D.N., is a registered dietitian, certified in the area of sports and exercise nutrition, at Carroll Hospital Center.