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Basic Guide To Sports Nutrition Education

Sep 3, 2008
As people realize that there is a dearth of information in the world to study, the study of the world becomes more specialized in order for information to be manageably processed for particular purposes. The study of medicine, for example, brought forth a specialization in sports medicine. The study of sports and also of nutrition was further compartmentalized into sports nutrition.

Sports nutrition as a higher education course has been attracting interest among younger generations. As the world population turns to sports for physical health as well as entertainment, sports nutrition attracts a lot of attention and revenues and people specializing in increasing sports performance are very much in demand.

Sports Nutrition education focuses on understanding how the body functions during exercise and sport. Maximizing athletic potential and minimizing health risks associated with sporting activity are two of the main topics of study in Sports Nutrition Education.

Students of this course will consider the role of exercise in healthy lifestyles, and in the treatment of various diseases, with emphasis on interaction between nutrition (diet) and physical performance.

Sports Nutrition education also provides the scientific background, specific knowledge and skills to address concepts and controversies relating to sports nutrition, sports physiology and to explore the links between nutrition, physiology, performance and health outcomes through the life cycle.

Sports nutrition education integrates principles of nutrition and exercise physiology and application to exercising individuals. Common topics for discussion include energy expenditure, fuel substrate metabolism, specific nutrient needs, ergogenic aids, hydration, and weight issues for exercising individuals and athletes.

In personal sports and fitness training, for example, the optimum way to get the most out of their workouts and feel their best is by designing an energizing, performance-enhancing nutrition plan, tailored specific needs of their bodies.

Sport Nutrition education includes learning how to enhance client's workouts and maximize their results with proper nutrition, safe and effective sports supplements, and beneficial vitamins and minerals.

This is a sample module from a university that offers Sports Nutrition in the collegiate level:

Level 1
Studies include an introduction to learning and assessment in higher education and the wider context of your subject.
- Basic Sports Science
- Science for Sport
- Human Physiology
- Data Analysis
- Introduction to Nutrition
- Professional Studies
- Functional Anatomy

Level 2
This level addresses issues related to hire-ability and professional practice.

- Exercise Physiology I
- Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry I
- Human Nutrition
- Research Methods
- Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry II
- Biomechanics, Sport Psychology, Physical Performance Assessment

Level 3
Level 3 further develops your skills in independent problem identification and analysis.

- Exercise Physiology II
- Applied and Environmental Physiology
- Energy Metabolism
- Muscle Structure and Function
- Sensory and Motor Physiology
- Sports Nutrition

In practical terms, students of sports nutrition education learn:

- How nutrients are taken in and how foods are digested and metabolized to provide necessary energy to fuel muscular activity.
- Dietary patterns that maximize performance and prevent disease.
- Research advancements in ergogenic aids.
- Supplementation and the pros and cons of popular diet techniques.
- Sample eating plans showing how to fuel for specific workouts.
- How to distinguish among food, diet, and supplement options and understand which are best and why.
- How to overcome food and weight obsessions.
- How to lose undesired body fat while maintaining energy for exercise.
- Strategies to boost energy, reduce stress, control weight, improve health & enhance workouts.

Employment opportunities
While enrolled in a Sports Nutrition Education program, it is still possible to have relevant employment. Work placement can also be advantageous as it also provides you with the benefits of industry experience.

The degree is excellent preparation for anyone planning a career in the sports and fitness industries such as corporate health and fitness. The program is also good for those particularly considering a specialization in the nutritional aspects of performance enhancement.

The graduate of this course can penetrate family and community services, local or state government agencies, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, institutes of sports, universities and colleges and also personal training. However, the graduate of Sport Nutrition is not qualified to be a dietitian.

Sports Nutrition education also provides a systematic, general, scientific training suitable for a wide assortment of careers. Many students also continue onto a PGCE or Masters course in a related area.
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