How To Become A Sports Nutritionist (UK)

How To Become A Sports Nutritionist Banner Image

Learning how to become a sports nutritionist will see you working with clients to optimise their health and athletic performance. To ensure you’re prepared for this career, the following topics will be covered:

This career is made possible by earning an accredited nutrition course from the UK. Once earned, you will be able to offer services such as meal planning to clients.

Information About The Sports Nutritionist Job Role

How to become a nutritionist for a professional sports team example

Before discussing how to become a sports nutritionist in the UK, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of the role.

For example, when employed in this position you will be working with both professional and amateur athletes, creating nutrition programmes that facilitate their bespoke fitness-related goals.

Said programmes will be created through observing the client’s daily habits, and conducting body testing exercises, all to ensure it’s tailored to their specification. 

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a nutritionist is between £31k-£54k every year, with an estimated pay of £40,900 a year.

The typical working schedule of a sports nutritionist is varied, as they will need to be on hand to ensure their clients are ready for athletic performance - Through mornings, evenings and weekends. 

How To Become a Qualified Sports Nutritionist 

How do you become a sports nutritionist

To learn how to become a qualified sports nutritionist you will need: 

This Sports Nutrition Qualification will inform how you create bespoke dietary programmes for your clients. While also acting as vital experience valued by potential employers.

The Personal Training Diploma is not compulsory, and instead is a beneficial additional certificate which will deepen your understanding of how bespoke nutrition advice can influence health and athletic performance.

When learning how to become a certified sports nutritionist, your chosen qualification provider must be regulated by an Ofqual awarding body - e.g. Focus Awards or Active IQ.

As a regulating government body, Ofqual ensures that all aspiring sports nutritionists will receive the same level of training from their chosen qualification provider. 

Be Aware - Some employers may require you to hold a higher education nutritionist degree, or a qualification in similar subject areas such as public health, or biochemistry.


Kick-start your sports career as a nutritionist!

Enquire about OriGym's Level 4 Sports Nutrition Qualification to launch your career today!

Finding the Right Sports Nutritionist Course 

How to become a sports nutritionist UK course

When researching terms such as ‘how to become a qualified sports nutritionist’, you’ll come across several different providers of nutrition courses providers. To decide which is right for you, consider the following factors:

How Will You Study? 

Advanced Sports Nutrition courses are typically taught online. To support our students through this process, OriGym grants access to our state of the art learning platform.

This contains material designed to facilitate independent study - such as virtual lectures, and e-books. In addition to this, should you ever require assistance whilst studying, one of OriGym’s dedicated nutrition tutors can be reached by phone and email, 7 days a week.

How Will You Be Assessed? 

When learning how to become a sports nutritionist in the UK, some training providers may set deadlines for their student’s assessments.

Instead, at OriGym we allow our students to complete the following assignments at their own pace: 

  • Submit a case study of work - Pass Required
  • Complete the online nutrition course assignments for both units - Pass Required
  • Sit an online nutrition exam - 90% Pass Rate Required

Much like your time studying, our support team can be accessed 7-days a week to answer any questions you may have about your assessments. 

Is Post-Course Support Available? 

Become a sports nutritionist post course

After learning how to become a sports nutritionist in the UK, post-course can make securing a job significantly easier. As evident from the graphic above, OriGym offers a plethora of these services to ensure the future success of our Alumni. 

Becoming a Sports Nutritionist With a Niche

How to become a certified sports nutritionist choices

Once your qualification is completed, you should create a nutritionist business plan that details short and long term career goals. Part of this will include establishing a niche for yourself within the existing industry.

When operating as a sports nutritionist, niches can include working within specific sports, or focusing on specialist dietary requirements such as veganism.

In order to develop a niche you will have to conduct independent research, and hone your existing knowledge within your chosen area. This process can include learning about:

  • Your desired clients’ typical training regime
  • Holistic fitness related goals associated with said athletes 
  • The effect of specialist dietary requirements on athletic performance 

Research into nutrition is ever-changing, meaning that you will need to stay updated throughout your career to ensure your clients receive the best possible service.

Essentially, becoming a sports nutritionist with a niche will reinforce your expertise within a particular area, and help you attract a specific demographic of clients. 

For more advice on this topic, check out our blog detailing how to get clients as a nutritionist

Decide How You Want to Work as a Sports Nutritionist 

How long does it take to become a sports nutritionist

Knowing your niche will help you determine what capacity to work in as a sports nutritionist.

For example, if you wish to specialise in a specific sport then it will be better to pursue contracted employment with associated fitness clubs and teams. 

In doing so, you will be working with both professional and amateur athletes, ensuring that their diets facilitate peak athletic performance.

Contracted employment is an ideal option for newly qualified individuals. In this position you will earn a stable source of income, whilst learning from those with more experience in the field. 

More information on these employment opportunities can be found in our in-depth exploration of how to become a nutritionist for a sports team.

Alternatively, if you wanted to become a sports nutritionist with a specialism in dietary requirements, such as veganism, then you should consider becoming self-employed.

Through starting your own nutrition business you will have direct control over the services you offer. This means that you market yourself as an expert within your chosen field, and attract a dedicated client base who specifically want to invest in this service.

Getting Insured as a Sports Nutritionist 

How to become a nutritionist for a sports team

Once you have become a sports nutritionist in the UK, you will need to invest in insurance, regardless of what capacity you wish to work.

Different insurance providers will offer varying levels of coverage, but you should ensure to purchase a package that contains the following policies:

  • Professional Indemnity Insurance - This will protect you if the nutrition advice you provide is brought into question - e.g. a client blames an injury or illness on your meal plans. 
  • Public Liability Insurance - Offers legal protection in instances such as a client becoming injured during a health examination, and claiming it was your fault.

If you decide to work on a self-employed basis getting nutritionist insurance is absolutely essential. In doing so, you can protect your finances and even save yourself from jail time.

When employed under contract you may be protected under your employers’ insurance package. This may not cover every existing policy, so it’s still worth investing in coverage for yourself, for extra security. 


Kick-start your sports career as a nutritionist!

Enquire about OriGym's Level 4 Sports Nutrition Qualification to launch your career today!

Upskill After Becoming a Sports Nutritionist

How to become a sports nutritionist progress

Once you have become a sports nutritionist in the UK, you will undoubtedly wish to progress your career. This can be achieved by completing further training, and earning additional qualifications.  

There are a plethora of benefits for upskilling - For example, once you’re qualified to offer additional services, you can earn an additional source of income and target an entire new demographic of clients. 

When deicing what areas you should upskill with, consider the following qualifications: 

Personal Training Diploma

As previously mentioned within this article, the Personal Training Diploma can be a beneficial additional qualification, which will improve your performance as a sports nutritionist. 

Once obtained, you will be recognised as a qualified personal trainer and will be able to offer bespoke workout programmes for your clients. This can go hand in hand with the dietary advice you provide, working in tandem to push clients towards their end goals.

For more information on how you can pursue this career, check out our article on becoming a personal trainer.

Level 4 Obesity and Weight Management 

Once you’ve qualified to become a sports nutritionist in the UK, developing a specialism can help you stand out among a competitive field. For example, with this qualification under your belt, you will be able to design and deliver weight loss programmes that centre on exercise and nutrition.

Note - You will need to have a Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification prior to enrolling on this course

Level 3 Sports Massage Therapy

Sports massage therapy can be applied to help injured clients through rehabilitation, and even improve their athletic performance. When working in tandem with your beneficial nutrition advice, your clients will be able to receive multiple services that push them towards peak performance.

Kickstart Your Career in Sports Nutrition?

As one of the UK’s most trusted education providers in the health and fitness industry, OriGym can help aspiring sports nutritionists reach their career goals! 

Enquire about our Level 4 Nutrition course here to kickstart your career! You can also download our free course prospectus for information on all of the courses we offer.

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.   

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