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How to become a Sports Nutritionist

What is a sports nutritionist?

Sports nutritionists provide advice for athletes to help them develop healthy eating habits and improve their fitness and well-being. They’re usually responsible for collating scientific research to create optimised menus and recommend the best vitamins and supplements. The job might also require managing studies to improve further understanding of food nutrition.

What qualifications do I need to become a sports nutritionist?

Nutritionists usually need a degree in nutritional science, or similar subject, and going on to post-graduate work in that field can be a big advantage. Those taking a nutrition degree should make sure it’s acknowledged by the Nutrition Society as well as registering with them.

What skills/experience will an employer look for?

Candidates who have volunteered in the sports nutrition field around their studies will be very attractive to potential employers. Experience of playing sport will also be useful as you’ll be able to relate to the needs of athletes when advising them. On top of that, communication is a vital part of the role, as is an in-depth understanding of the human body and how it works.

Who might employ a sports nutritionist?

-Health and fitness centres

-The NHS


-Athletics clubs

-Sports teams

What salary can I expect?

Nutritionists can expect a minimum starting salary of £21,500 but this may be considerably higher in the private sector.

What is my career progression?

Successful nutritionists may be able to progress into management positions or roles where you have the opportunity to shape policy. With the continuing development and growth of the sports nutrition industry there are more and more positions opening up to qualified nutritionists and more sports teams are developing that aspect of their fitness. These provide plenty of opportunities for career progression.

What are the best things about becoming a sports nutritionist?

Not only are sports nutritionists always up to date with the latest developments in healthy food but they get to watch as athletes improve and become more successful thanks to their advice. Knowing all about the latest nutritional trends also means you can make sure your own eating habits are as good as possible.

Are there any drawbacks?

As with all fields of science, you can research extensively but still find no definitive answer which can be frustrating. You may also run up against people who are sceptical of sports nutrition.

Why not view our latest vacancies in sports nutrition or sign up for job alerts.

More information:

For more information, advice and guidance about careers in PE, Sport, Training and Fitness and Activity Holiday Jobs, visit our careers advice centre; including job hunting tips,  CV guide and much more.​