Sports nutritionists provide nutritional education and services to athletes. They are knowledgeable about dealing with weight problems and developing dietary programs based on caloric needs.
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The minimum education required to become a sports nutritionist is a bachelor's degree in nutrition or sports nutrition. Many states require nutritionists to become licensed, which entails a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a varying amount of training.
Certification is not necessary to practice as a sports nutritionist, but can lead to more employment opportunities. Different professional organisations offer certifications. Basic requirements include being licensed as a sports nutritionist, and between 2 and 5 years of professional experience.
Sports nutritionists can work in private clinics, with professional and collegiate athletic teams, or in hospitals.
Sports nutritionists consult with athletes to help them develop optimal eating habits. Nutritionists can design menus, recommend vitamins and supplements, and provide nutritional advice for athletes dealing with medical issues or illnesses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nutritionists is expected to increase by 9 per cent between 2006 and 2016. This will lead to additional employment opportunities for sports nutritionists outside of the sports field.
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