Before you start a sports nutrition coaching program, it is important that you first understand your clients and their inherent needs.  Everyone is different, so you will need to find out if they are naturally active, inactive, have medical conditions or a history of injuries, etc.  This will help you design a program that will be effective for them, and ultimately lead to a successful and healthy weight loss.

If you are a coach of a sports team and you want to improve the nutritional intake of your athletes, you will find on a massive amount of information about sports nutrition. I bet it is very important to understand the right way to approach this topic, so you can convince your athletes to make sure they are properly fed.

Today’s sports nutrition coaches are in a unique position. Not only are they responsible for the diets of competitors, but they also have to get their athletes fit and healthy for competition. That doesn’t come down to one or the other, however. Instead, it means making sure that both the athlete and the athlete’s body are receiving enough calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fats.. Read more about online nutrition coach for athletes and let us know what you think.

What comes to mind when you think about sports nutrition?

  • Professional athletes’ ripped, lean physique.
  • Advanced macro ratios that are “administered” and “monitored”
  • Biochemistry, nutritional timing, and cutting-edge supplements are all topics covered in this course.
  • All of the aforementioned.

What is the best answer: A, B, C, or D (everyone’s favorite)? That’s fairly standard.

There’s only one problem: even when taken as a whole, these answers barely scratch the surface of what sports nutrition is all about.

That is why…

It’s past time for us to rethink sports nutrition. 

And, based on our years of expertise coaching top athletes and active individuals, that’s precisely what we’ve done.

We’ll teach you how to utilize our new sports nutrition guidelines in this post to:

  • Create nutrition programs for each customer that are genuinely unique.
  • More customers than ever before may benefit from sports nutrition.
  • Develop a consistent coaching approach for improving client outcomes every time.

And, perhaps most significantly, We’ll show you how this innovative approach to sports nutrition may help your clients accomplish more than simply perform better. It may also assist individuals in leading more balanced and satisfying lives.

Because achieving top performance is fantastic. But what if it’s coupled with a healthy, active lifestyle? You’re on your way to becoming a true winner.


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Sports nutrition’s five new regulations

The first new guideline is to not treat all athletes equally.

All athletes are similar in some respects. All human bodies that move have the same fundamental biology and requirements.

In other respects, though, all athletes are distinct. 

Consider the following example:

  • A high school athlete in their twenties is not the same as a seasoned professional in their twenties.
  • A professional athlete is not the same as a “normal person” who works out four to five times a week at the gym while still working full-time and raising two children.
  • A person who works in a physically demanding profession where their body is their life, such as tactical troops in the field, is not the same as someone who enjoys sports.

Sports nutrition has traditionally concentrated on the science of nutrients and providing idealized, prescriptive recommendations. This usually entails devising a strategy based on: 

  • current competition and training schedule

All of these things must be taken into account. They’re something we consider often. (Can we pique your curiosity with an interesting explanation of how protein requirements are calculated in the lab? (Wait… return.)

However, we’ve found that nutrition, basic body measurements, and sports-related variables aren’t adequate.

A person is more than their statistics and training regimen. 

Even if two individuals have comparable body proportions and train on the same timetable, there will be significant variations to account for.

Here’s an illustration. Derek and Vishal are both soccer players in their childhood. They have a few things in common. They’re both 14 years old, play soccer for their school, and are around the same weight.

Vishal and Derek, on the other hand, are developing and maturing physically and psychologically at distinct rates.

Take a look at their bios below: Can you see why providing them the same precise dietary advice may not be the best idea?

Let’s take a closer look.

Vishal’s professional profile

Vishal was a child when he reached adolescence. Because he has considerably longer legs and a much more muscular body composition than many of his colleagues, he has an advantage in soccer.

He enjoys playing soccer, but he never considers his long-term prospects in the sport. Vishal, in fact, does not give much thought to his future. For the time being, he’s content with high school. After all, he’s just 14 years old.

Derek’s resume

Derek hasn’t changed much in the last several years. His hunger has lately risen, but he isn’t growing at the same rate, so he’s put on some weight in the last few months. “I was a late bloomer myself,” his father tells him.

Derek has kept his starting position on the squad despite being a quick sprinter and a good dribbler. He also considers where he could go with soccer. Derek is hoping that it will be his ticket to the institution of his dreams, and he is prepared to go to any length to guarantee that he is in top form.

That concludes the details. Have you received your response? See how it stacks up against ours.

Why should Vishal and Derek’s dietary regimens differ?

Vishal and Derek have distinct bodies, despite the fact that they follow the same physiological principles and have comparable physical needs.

  • Vishal’s mindset is to enjoy his time on the pitch. When it comes to eating to improve his performance, Derek has a can-do mentality. This will most likely have an effect on their ability to stick to a dietary plan in both instances.
  • Vishal’s body composition is on the slimmer side. Derek has a higher body fat percentage. This will have an impact on their dietary requirements.
  • Hormonal profiles: Because Vishal is farther along in puberty, he may have an edge in terms of developing and retaining lean muscle mass.

As a consequence, if you offer Derek and Vishal the identical sports nutrition program, they will not get the same outcomes. 

This is where movement nutrition comes in.

Nutrition that feeds, improves, and/or supports recovery from a broad variety of activities and motions is what we mean by this.

Movement nutrition entails coaching a person in the context of their whole life, rather than simply the science of nutrients or prescriptive advice (such as “consume X grams of vitamin Y”).

It contains the following items:

  • Nutritional science (of course!)
  • the study of human behavior
  • methodical coaching skills and methods
  • the whole of a client’s or athlete’s life
  • a client’s or athlete’s perspective as a whole person

Two Venn diagrams showing the difference between traditional sports nutrition and ’s movement nutrition concept.

When it comes to sports nutrition, a movement nutrition coach considers the whole picture.

Nutrition science is still used in movement nutrition. However, you broaden your horizons in order to better understand and assist each athlete as an individual.

New rule #2: Athletes’ psychological and social wellbeing should not be overlooked.

Athletes are more than simply a collection of moving parts. They’re genuine, one-of-a-kind individuals living genuine, one-of-a-kind lives.

Take, for example, Lorain, a seasoned powerlifter. Her father runs a gym, thus she was raised in between squat sessions.

A Black female powerlifting athlete holding a barbell above her head.

You’ll need to look at more than Lorain’s health statistics to assist her achieve her weight-loss goal.

Lorain wants to compete at Nationals, but she understands she’ll have a better chance if she loses weight and competes in the 185-pound (84-kg) weight class. She came to you for help because of this.

Doesn’t it seem to be straightforward? Athletes often lose weight, and Lorain is definitely one of them. You’ll just collect information on her present height and weight, what she eats, and how she exercises, and use it to create a calorie-deficit plan for her. You’ll work together to achieve that objective, gently and steadily. Easy.

But Lorain hasn’t made any progress after a month, and you’re left questioning your head.

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Lorain:

  • She is now attending law school while commuting. She spends more time in the vehicle than out of it, resulting in a lot of fast-food wrappers and empty drink bottles, as well as little exercise outside of her exercises.
  • On weekends, she spends time with her father. While he’s enthusiastic about her powerlifting ambitions, he’s also a former heavyweight and a believer in the “eat large, lift big” philosophy. As a result, he isn’t as enthusiastic about the notion of becoming “smaller.” In some ways, Lorain feels alone in her efforts to lose weight.
  • Lorain is trying to concentrate on her health and performance while juggling school, student debt, checking on her father, and working a part-time job.

All three of these issues make it more difficult for Lorain to follow the strategy you’ve devised for her.

However, you won’t know about them until you go beyond the apparent facts.

This is where a lot of sports nutritionists go astray. 

The biopsychosocial model comes into play.

Lorain’s first weight-loss strategy was based only on biological variables, such as her physical characteristics, eating habits, and exercise regimen.

However, psychological variables and the social environment play a significant role in the overall picture. Lorain is stressed out by school, feeling alone, commuting in a less-than-ideal environment, and dealing with her father’s demands.

A Venn diagram showing how the biopsychosocial model works, and what areas of life are included in the three areas: biology, psychology, and social context.

As a sports nutrition coach, the biopsychosocial approach may help you achieve greater outcomes.

By inquiring about all areas of your athletes’ life, you can work with them to create personalized nutrition programs that set you apart from other “just make a meal plan” coaching methods.

Their findings will be of higher quality as a consequence of this. And educating your customer about the issues that may be preventing them from progressing? This will almost certainly enhance their quality of life.

(Another helpful approach for understanding more about your active customers’ lifestyles is deep health.)

This isn’t only an excellent concept on paper, by the way. It stems from our hands-on experience with customers.

The main conclusion is that you should learn more about your customers as individuals. 

That way, you can combine your nutrition science expertise with your coaching abilities to develop a plan that people will like, appreciate, and, most importantly, follow.

New rule #3: Broaden your understanding of the term “athlete.”

We usually conceive of “sports nutrition” as something for individuals who are “elite” in some manner, such as professional basketball players, competitive marathon runners, and high school athletes.

This mindset not only limits your pool of prospective customers, but it also limits your clients’ outcomes. After all, we now see athletes with a wider range of bodies, talents, ages, and skills practicing and competing.

Valentina is a great illustration of this. She’s in her forties and runs a school for young ladies who want to compete in the charrera sport (Mexican rodeo).

She spends another five to six hours after working with the girls all day caring for all the horses, operating the barn, and caring for her family.

Valentina needs more than a couple of NSAIDs to get back into the saddle and recuperate after a day’s labor after years of under-eating and body image problems.

Valentina may not match the traditional description of a “athlete,” but the active nature of her work and life means she may benefit greatly from a customized nutrition plan. One that will assist her in keeping up with her hectic and physically demanding routine.

The bottom line is that

Elite athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from your assistance.

Generally, a person exercises often and intensively enough to need or want nutritional assistance at some point.

We utilize three categories to think about individuals who move their bodies and may benefit from specialized movement nutrition methods, rather than lumping all athletes together.

  • Athletes are those who have the physical abilities, training, and skills to do a set of physical activities under specified conditions (such as a sport with specific regulations) and for the purpose of competition.
  • Exercisers: Anyone who purposely does physical movement to improve and/or maintain health and wellness, function, and/or body composition—or simply for enjoyment.
  • Anyone who moves their bodies often and/or passionately, whether for job, pleasure, or the demands of everyday life, is referred to as a mover.

These classifications are not mutually exclusive. Of fact, all athletes move, but not all movers or exercisers are athletes. Different categories may be entered and exited by people.


At their most fundamental level, all athletes are movers.

Our argument is that the majority of individuals are not professional athletes.

However, nutritional assistance may benefit all active individuals in some manner.

This change in attitude may lead to a larger pool of customers and, in turn, greater outcomes.

New rule #4: Prioritize the basics above sophisticated dietary techniques.

Biochemistry is fascinating. It’s tempting to depend on the highest-level, most creative, and cutting-edge procedures you can think of after you’ve mastered the science of nutrition.

Even the most gifted athletes, however, are not necessarily nutritionally advanced. In reality, they often lack basic dietary knowledge.

Consider the case of Stephen. He’s a gifted basketball player who just received a college scholarship. He’s being eyed by NBA scouts as a potential pro.

A young athlete holding a basketball.

Athletes like Stephen can remain in top condition by focusing on the basics.

Stephen has excelled in every physical activity he has attempted, not only on the basketball court.

Stephen has a “jacked” look about him. He’s also approaching his peak physical performance and physique at the age of 18.

So, what’s his secret to a healthy diet? Surprise! Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Frosted Flakes are all represented. From 7-11, a Super Big Gulp washed it down. In other words, whatever is inexpensive, quick, and easy to get.

Stephen’s secret to being ripped, swole, and a great athlete? Youth, a lot of exercise, and excellent genes, it turns out. Unfortunately, most of those abilities wear down throughout a sports career, and a bad diet will hasten the process.

Stephen is more of a norm than an exception when it comes to athletics. 

Even top-level athletes should not overlook the importance of dietary fundamentals.

As Stephen’s coach, you know he’ll have to change certain things if he wants to make it through his college and professional seasons.

Giving him a complex strategy with precise macro ratios, on the other hand? Or a complicated nutrition timing schedule?

That’s probably not going to work, given his present eating habits.

Consider improving basic talents for Stephen and other athletes like him, such as:

  • Making time to prepare some of his meals for the week so that he doesn’t have to make any last-minute choices
  • Scheduling meal times and storing up on nutritious, handy, and cost-effective alternatives reduces the need for fast food.
  • Increasing the amount of minimally processed foods (instead of insisting Stephen stops eating fast food altogether)
  • To ensure Stephen gets enough protein, veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fat in each meal, use the “PN plate” design.
  • Building a red, yellow, and green-light meals list with Stephen over time, depending on what makes him feel his best while training.

The bottom line: Even top athletes may benefit from good eating habits. 

Use a methodical coaching approach, according to new rule #5.

It may be intimidating to meet a top athlete client for the first time. You might be seated next to a million-dollar body, as well as their million-dollar instructors.

You may also be dealing with special operations military troops. They’re counting on you to assist them get through selection.

Your newest customer could be a stay-at-home mom who wants to do more than simply run her neighborhood’s annual 5K; she wants to win it.

It may be stressful to assist movers in realizing their goals and aspirations. 

You’ll need a coaching strategy.

And this isn’t just any scheme. You’ll need a coaching strategy. one in which:

  • may be tailored to meet the needs of a wide range of customers
  • offers a road map to verify that you’re fulfilling each client’s specific requirements
  • enables you to make choices based on the best available evidence.

This is why the Coaching Method was created. It’s a six-step coaching approach that may assist you in asking the correct questions and taking the appropriate actions at the appropriate time.

A visual representation of the six steps of ’s coaching framework.

Every customer may benefit from all six stages.

Here are the stages, along with some questions to consider for each:

Plan and prepare before you begin (step 0). 

  • Where and how will this coaching session take place?
  • What do I already know about my customer, and what do I need to learn more about them?
  • What forms, evaluations, and instruments for measuring and monitoring do I require?

Step 1: Evaluate and collect data. 

  • What are the activities that my customer engages in?
  • What are my client’s specific objectives?
  • What are some of my client’s fundamental characteristics?

Step 2: Recognize and investigate. 

  • Who is my customer, and what sort of person is he or she?
  • What is their everyday routine and life like?
  • What is their underlying motivation, or “why,” for accomplishing their objectives?
  • What are they willing, able, and ready to accomplish right now?

Step 3: Make a strategy and a plan. 

  • What are the various options for achieving the goal?
  • What is the most practical and realistic solution for my client?
  • What is one low-effort, high-impact action that my client can do right now?

Step 4: Make a decision and put it to the test.

  • What are your plans for the future with your client?
  • What is the ONE job that your customer is willing to do every day, no matter what?
  • How will you and your customer know if a certain action “works” or not if you select it? What does “success” or “development” mean to you?

Step 5: Keep an eye on things and keep track of what you’re doing.

  • Is the client constantly doing the right actions?
  • What does the statistics indicate is going on?
  • Is this strategy clearly beneficial to my client?

Step 6: Analyze and assess the situation. 

  • Are we achieving the desired outcomes? Why do you think that is?
  • Is there anything we could do better or differently?
  • What should we do differently (if anything) in the future?

(If you want to understand more about PN’s coaching approach, our Level 1 Certification covers it thoroughly.)

The takeaway: if you organize your coaching, you’ll be thrilled rather than scared when an athlete approaches you with a huge objective. 

We were forced to relocate.

Humans begin to move long before we are born. Our built-in movement reflexes fire when we enter the world writhing and clutching.

We move throughout our lives unless we are restrained, disabled, or otherwise deliberately prohibited from doing so.

We can better understand, plan, and execute appropriate nutrition practices for a wide variety of active clients if we broaden our understanding of what it means to be a sports nutrition coach.

It’s not just about calories and nutrition. 

It’s all about putting on a show and winning… as well as remaining focused and energized. And I’m getting better. In addition to living a long, healthy, and active life.

If you’re a coach or wish to be one…

It’s both an art and a science to guide clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy food and lifestyle adjustments in a manner that’s tailored to their individual body, tastes, and circumstances.

Consider the Level 1 Certification if you want to learn more about both.

Food and nutrition often get overlooked in sports. Nutrition is important for optimum training and recovery. The best way to improve nutrition is through proper guidance. That’s where sports nutritionists come in. Sports nutritionists are trained professionals who are certified to provide guidance in nutrition, weight management, and injury recovery. They have the experience and education necessary to help athletes achieve the physique they desire. Their expertise encompasses all aspects of sports nutrition, including:. Read more about online nutritionist for athletes and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can sports coaches give nutritional advice?

Yes, sports coaches can give nutritional advice.

What is a sports nutrition coach?

A sports nutrition coach is a person who helps athletes with their diet and nutrition.

What are the 3 principles of sports nutrition?

The 3 principles of sports nutrition are: 1. Consume a well-balanced diet 2. Consume adequate fluids 3. Exercise regularly

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