RDN advocates multidisciplinary approach to fueling young athletes

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags RD nutritionist ISSN

Adolescent athletes require nutrition above and beyond the offerings of most school cafeterias. These growing and developing bodies face challenges such as limited time for meal prep and frequent travel.

Speaking at the recent International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference,  Wendi Irlbeck, RDN,  presented her work with teen athlete populations. When it comes to her client’s health and performance, Irlbeck said working with physicians is crucial. 

“I think that a multidisciplinary approach with teen athletes, when we bring in everybody to have a conversation, in the best interest of the patient, the client we can get on the same page and make the best decision for their care,” ​said Irlbeck. “We need to make this a part of our regular standard of care, having the creatine, having, the vitamin D, looking at multivitamins, fish oil, even tart cherry juice as well. So when physicians see that data, it really helps them see that there's so many benefits.”

While this integrated approach is helpful, Irlbeck said medical schools should take it a step further. Research​ published by the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic reported that on average, students in medical schools across the country spend less than 1 percent of lecture time learning about nutrition. 

“I absolutely believe there should be more education for physicians because they’re science people, they’re data driven. So if you're able to walk in and illustrate all the data and they can see that, they're like why aren't we doing this?”

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