Sports Nutritionist

Certifications Necessary to Practice

You can have a Bachelor's Degree for some jobs, but many jobs will need a Master's Degrees. Some states have licensing requirements.

Registered Dietitian with active registration by the Commission on Dietetic

Registration of the American Dietetic Association; Certification/Licensure as required by state of practice. Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) preferred.

Education Requirements

  • SCAN indicates that prospective sports nutritionists might consider bachelor's degree programs in clinical nutrition, food and nutrition or a related major
  • Students also may have to meet additional science requirements in biology, chemistry or microbiology.
  • master's degree programs specific to sports nutrition are available, individuals also might consider exercise physiology or nutrition programs, some of which offer a sports nutrition concentration
  • Additional courses might cover topics in exercise physiology, biomechanics and nutritional assessment

The skills necessary to be successful in this profession are.....

  • Excellent communication, presentation, and counseling skills.
  • Ability to accurately measure height, and body weight.
  • Ability to accurately assess body composition (body mass, body fat, and muscle mass).
  • Ability to accurately assess and evaluate energy balance.
  • Knowledge of eating disorder/disordered eating signs and symptoms.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and application of medical nutrition therapy, including interviewing and education techniques.
  • Self-motivation and ability to work independently.
  • Excellent time management, organizational, and record-keeping skills.
  • Knowledge of complementary medicine, ergogenic aids, and nutritional supplements, including herbal supplements.
  • Competence with nutrient analysis, word processing, and presentation software,
  • Compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations of athletic governing bodies: e.g., National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), regarding banned drugs and restricted substances.
  • Knowledge of measurements of resting metabolic rate, energy expenditure, VO2max, and lactate threshold.
  • Knowledge of food service quality and safety procedures.
Nebraska Football Sports Nutrition
Day in the Life: Dietitian