Who is an Applied Sports Nutritionist?
An applied sports nutritionist is typically Licensed Medical Nutritional Therapist (LMNT) or Registered Dietitians (RD) who have at least 3 years of experience working in an applied nutrition setting with athletes and capable of:
• Organizing meals, snacks and hydration at home and on the road and truly be involved with keeping a team fueled throughout the entire year. They have to really be able to look into the future and see where and how a team is moving and have a bit of an instinct on what is the best intervention to implement for a winning outcome.
• Know about the annual training cycle (periodization) of every sport/position or event so they can target appropriate windows for exposures that will safely help athletes reach realistic body composition outcomes. And be capable of accurately assessing body composition & nutrient based lesions in physical exams of athletes.
• Be capable of communicating the plan of action to coaches and athletes in a simple to execute-systematic manner that is always put into circumstantial perspective (off-inseason, pre-post workout, active-inactive days, etc.).
As you can see the applied sports nutritionist has a real "role up your sleeves" type job in the trenches with the athletes year round compared to a clinical setting.
It becomes a tactical experience in management, education and teamwork that brings the nutritionist to the table for meetings with a coaching staff and team to building the most appropriate fueling tactics.