The practice of physical activity is directly related to quality of life and the search for certain results. In this way, due to the increasing demand for healthier habits and better performance, sports nutrition has gained a lot of prominence in recent times.
Reconciling Sport with Nutrition, this area, in addition to being essential within professional sports centers, is also of great importance for well-being and health promotion.
To better understand the particularities of this specialization, below we will see what sports nutrition studies, what its objectives are and how to specialize in the area. Read on and learn everything you need to know about sports nutrition!
What is sports nutrition and what are its goals?
In a nutshell, sports nutrition corresponds to the union of Nutrition knowledge with Physical Education studies, that is, it relates food with sports practice.
This is because food and nutrients from it have a direct influence on the functioning of the body, interfering, for example, with the amount of muscle mass, metabolic balance and physical conditioning.
Thus, sports nutrition aims to improve performance, performance and value for health , varying the method of application according to each physical activity and the athlete’s goals. After all, each sport varies depending on the exercise routine and intensity.
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Although professional athletes are the main audience for sports nutrition, anyone who practices physical activities can undergo care in the area.
However, it is very important to consult a professional in the area to obtain good results and maintain a healthy relationship between food and exercise.
What studies sports nutrition?
Sports nutrition basically studies the influence and effects of healthy eating on sports performance. For this, there is an interdisciplinary between the areas of Nutrition and Physical Education.
Thus, the sports nutritionist must have knowledge, among other fundamentals necessary for acting in the area, in:
- exercise physiology,
- nutrients and the relationship with digestion,
- immune system,
- nutritional supplements,
- energy metabolism.
In turn, based on this knowledge, it is possible to assess the patient’s lifestyle, eating habits, physical and psychological needs. And, with this thorough investigation, the sports nutritionist guides the athlete to follow a food plan that is in accordance with the physical activity practiced and the goals to be achieved, for example, fat loss and lean mass gain.
What is the role of sports nutrition?
In addition to being essential to increase the potential and results of physical exercise, sports nutrition is important for the balance of the body. In this sense, this area of expertise plays a fundamental role in the quality of life and physical and mental well-being of professional and amateur athletes.
That’s because sports nutrition is responsible for:
- improve physical performance,
- prevent wear on cartilage and bones,
- contribute to muscle recovery after exercise,
- keep the organism balanced in relation to the necessary nutrients, etc.
What is the difference between a sports and functional nutritionist?
The functional nutritionist focuses on the biochemical individuality of each patient, directing the action plan according to their needs, habits, routines and other particularities that do not involve only physical factors.
With this personalized look and focused on each patient, functional nutrition has as its main objective the physical and mental well-being of the individual, focusing on improving their quality of life and treating a specific problem reported by the patient.
In turn, the sports nutritionist, in addition to also aiming to promote health and quality of life, focuses on improving performance and sports performance.
For this, the professional creates a diet according to the physical activity practiced by the patient, prescribing specific supplementation according to the training routine and the energy load demanded.
Who can specialize in sports nutrition?
First of all, to specialize in sports nutrition, the professional must graduate in Nutrition and register with the National Nutrition Council, the body that regulates the exercise of the profession.
The specialization course in sports nutrition usually lasts, on average, one and a half years, during which the professional will have a more in-depth look at drug treatments, diet prescriptions and nutritional assessment.
What are the main places where the sports nutritionist works?
The sports nutritionist is usually linked to high-performance professional athletes. Thus, he can monitor a specific athlete, players and competitors, as well as work in sports centers, being hired by the team.
In addition, this professional is present in gyms, specialized offices, clubs and also offers private and home care.
In this way, it is clear that the area of activity is wide, reaching the most diverse audiences, from Olympic professionals and large teams to amateur practitioners who seek better results.