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What is Performance Nutrition?

Updated: Apr 10





What is Performance Nutrition?

Performance nutrition is the science of utilising dietary protocols to unleash the power of food and influence positive change within a person’s biochemistry. Having close ties to exercise physiology - and sometimes referred to as sports nutrition (although this is a restricted view) - the goal of a practitioner is to help people perform better by improving their health and/or performance in the tasks they do. Every single meal will influence the body, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. If people can accumulate positive effects of those changes they can improve their health, reduce illness, facilitate adaptions to exercise, training and improve their performance.



Performance can mean different things!

Every person has their own individual needs and specific demands of daily life.

An athlete has specific mechanisms and physical demands which can be aided with nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. These can focus on fat loss, recovery, acute performance, reduced sickness, reduced risk of injury, sleep quality and a healthy emotional relationship with food – among many others, all of which can aid winning performance, sustain a longer career and keep good health.

The person may want to reduce body fat; feel healthier; improve energy levels, quality of life and nutritional and lifestyle habits while having a better emotional relationship with food. For a firefighter it may be a big focus on hydration, cognition, concentration and energy. For older populations it may be to maintain (or improve) mobility in retaining lean tissue, bone mineral density, blood sugar control and thus quality of life


What is a Performance Nutritionist?

As above, performance nutritionists are people who use a scientific and evidence driven "food first" approach in the practice of nutrition with a specialised knowledge in nutritional science and exercise physiology. They work with the public and are usually found in elite sports teams working in an interdisciplinary team of scientific professionals, but can also be research and pracitionar scientists. They do not work with medical conditions (i.e. nutrition for cancer) but should be registered with the British Dietetic Association’s SENr register, a specialist register to show they have completed rigorous training recognised at Degree or Post Graduate level.



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