Nutritionist vs. Dietitian vs. Sports Dietitian
An Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) is a formal university qualification (4 years) similar to studying medicine but for food and nutrition. We know and love food and can help you sort through the maze of nutrition information out there. APD is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, DVA and private health funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetic services.
However, you should do some investigating when it comes to Nutritionists as anyone can call them-self a nutritionist without any formal qualification. It gets confusing because some APD’s prefer to call themselves Nutritionists. Just look for an APD after their name to ensure they have the right qualifications to be giving you specific nutrition advice.
A Sports Dietitian must be an APD, but also has additional qualifications in providing specialised advice to optimise nutrition for sport and exercise performance. The minimum academic requirements for Accredited Sports Dietitians are a Nutrition and Dietetic Qualification (undergraduate or postgraduate), a minimum of 2 years clinical experience as well as further Sports Nutrition Study. It’s not easy – let me tell you!
A taste of things a Sports Dietitian can do for you:
Provide day to day healthy eating advice specific to you and your training
Measure and manage your body composition to maintain or reach your ideal weight (fat and muscle mass)
Maximise energy levels for training
Optimise recovery after exercise, especially for those double session days
Provide advice on carbohydrate loading leading into longer distance events
Develop race plans for specific events
Eating to enhancing your immune system
Teach you mad cooking skills and provide recipe ideas
Educate you on up-to-date research on supplements
Plus much more….What once were the ‘best kept secrets’ of many athletes and sporting teams, Sports Dietitians are now easily accessible to everyone in private practice (I do Skype consults) and are at the forefront of sporting performance.
Taryn Richardson, APD, AccSD Bach Hlth Sc (Nut & Diet) Hons; IOC dip sport nutr.
Taryn is an Accredited Sports Dietitian and Director of her private practice, Dietitian Approved. She spends half of her time on the Gold Coast working with the triathlon program at the Australian Institute of Sport (dream job!). The other half is spent consulting in Brisbane (or over Skype) spreading the good word on nutrition and helping everyday exercisers perform at their best.