Your diet and the type of food you consume can affect your athletic performance either positively or negatively.

The diet of an athlete or someone who exercises regularly needs to be different from the diet of someone who is inactive or sedentary. Athletes need to keep energy levels up to make workouts most effective.

The type of diet you need depends on your age, sex and activity level. Our sports nutritionists provide one-on-one athletic sports nutrition counseling to help you with various issues including:

  • Gaining lean mass
  • Improving high intensity sport performance
  • Losing fat
  • Eating for muscle recovery
  • Optimizing the carbohydrates and protein for your body type and goals
  • Understanding energy balance
  • Strategizing for endurance fueling

Our Services

Every athlete has unique metabolic needs and goals.

We provide comprehensive testing, counseling and nutrition programming to help maximize each individual’s performance. Check with your insurance provider to determine your plan's coverage of Nutritional Services visits. 

Nutrition Counseling

These one-on-one consultations help athletes evaluate their diet and consider a meal plan tailored to their sport, season and goals. It's designed to help you prepare and recover from training and activity by teaching you how and when to fuel the body.

Additionally, if you have very specific nutrition concerns, such as weight management, nutritional performance enhancement, disordered eating, amenorrhea or osteoporosis, this counseling is a great fit. All participants leave with a personalized nutrition plan.

Group Speaking Engagements

Our experts participate in community fitness events and group presentations on various wellness and nutrition topics, which can be tailored to your specific needs. Examples include Proper Portion Sizes, Understanding Fats and Sugars, and Healthy Eating for Athletic Performance

iDXA Scan

Using low-dose radiation to see “through” your body, the iDXA scan measures bone mass, lean tissue mass and fat mass, providing an invaluable assessment of your body composition. Note: An iDXA scan requires a physician prescription.

Grocery Store Tours

We’ll meet your small group at the grocery store, answer your food and nutrition questions and explain how to read labels, integrate new ingredients into your diet and make better overall shopping and meal-planning choices.

Resting Metabolic Rate

Our KORR Indirect Calorimeter can estimate your resting calorie burn. The test is performed early in the day, under fasting and no-stimulants conditions for the most accurate results.

Considerations for Athletes

Nutrition and diet considerations for athletes

Our specialists can help you eat your way to better health and performance.

You need to eat enough to fuel the muscles through the mileage you are planning to complete. Eating too much food may lead to unwanted weight gain. Many endurance athletes see their training as a way to control body weight, but there are many potentially unwanted side effects of poor fueling as well. These may include feeling tired during training runs, inability to concentrate, feeling lethargic when not training, getting sick more easily and not storing enough fuel in the muscle to perform and practice at your best.

Why Ohio State?

Why choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for sports nutrition?

Customized care: We employ a targeted nutritional approach to each individual. Our registered dietitians focus on safe, effective, evidence-based nutrition services for health, fitness and athletic performance on an individual-by-individual basis.

Nationally certified: Our sports nutrition team is led by a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics who's qualified to deliver medical nutrition therapy.

Experience: We provide nutrition consultation for more than 5,000 central Ohio competitors and performers, including Ohio State’s athletes and varsity teams.

A closer look at Sports Nutrition

Nutrition and Sports Performance

Good nutrition is an important aspect to athletic training. There's no substitute or supplement for a balanced diet, as Kacie Vavrek, MS, RN, LD, explains.

Body Composition Testing

Jackie Buell PhD, RD, ATC, describes how the assessment of skeletal health through measurement of bone mass, lean tissue mass and fatty tissue mass has strong preventative health implications, particularly for women.

Athletes and Eating Disorders

Dr. Jen Carter shares how sports present both risks and protective factors for eating disorders, from the pressure to fit into a certain body type for a given sport to the benefit of having a great social network associated with being part of a team.

Our Sports Nutritionists