After my undergrad, I knew I wanted to keep learning how to better support my clients and athletes. Nutrition is a relatively new science and a very interesting one. There are a lot of people out there, qualified and unqualified, providing sports nutrition guidance. If you also follow me on instagram (@JennasHungry) or noticed the addition of letters after my name, you will see that I recently completed my Masters in Nutrition and Human Performance. Continuing your education is crucial in any field, but specifically in any science field. Here are five reason why you should always be learning, reading, and questioning:
1. You can learn what others have just discovered. Every day new studies are being published and the way we think about fitness and nutrition is changing. Sports Nutritionist have to keep up with reading those journals to make better recommendations for their athletes.
2. You can help others to learn more too. As we keep learning and growing the field of nutrition we can help to pass on that knowledge to the next students who are interested. It is very possible that one day they could make a great discovery based on a skill or idea that you taught them.
3. You can help to correct those who may not have the health background that you do. There will be plenty of people less educated and less qualified to make health recommendations telling people what to do anyway. As we continue to learn, we are able to step in and correct them for the safety of the athletes. I've worked with trainers and coaches who have told athletes to eat over 100 grams of protein each day, and for a high school athlete that is not appropriate. (Each athlete is different, you can not tell a group to all eat the same thing.)
4. You can gain new ideas and a new perspective. One of the most intriguing things that I learned in my program was about heart rate variance (HRV). This was an entirely new concept that I was not taught in my undergrad, but plays a large role in athletes.
5. You can be the expert! So when someone asks you what makes you the expert, you can politely reply with listing the degrees that you have in that area. Don't you want to know as much as possible? The more you know, the more your athletes and clients can improve their performance.
If you are interested in Logan University's excellent Nutrition and Human Performance program, you can find more information here.
What's next for me? Maybe my PhD! We'll see.