Season 2 Episode 8: Curious About Becoming a Sports RD?

Pratik Patel Headshot.jpg

Did you first fall in love with nutrition because you were an athlete in high school or college? Or maybe while you were training for a marathon? Lots of folks make their way to dietetics because of their own experience with learning more about nutrition to support their fitness goals. Some RDstoBE and even RDs in other areas of practice are curious about specializing in this area of practice.

At the same time, many college and professional sports teams now have an RDN on staff to provide sports nutrition counseling to help their athletes perform their best. But the skill set and demands on sports nutritionists have evolved greatly over the past decade or so. In this episode, Pratik Patel shares how he made his way to his current role as a professional sports team’s Director of Performance Nutrition.

Pratik’s journey to becoming a Sports RD was not without its obstacles. He’s a first-generation American, he hadn’t even heard of the nutrition major when he started college, and he didn’t match to a dietetic internship on his first try. But he overcame these challenges (and SO MANY MORE!) to get to where he is today.

During this episode Pratik talks about:

  • How he handled all the aforementioned challenges to achieve his RD

  • The schedule of an RD who works with a professional sports team

  • The resilience needed to manage the uncertainties of working for college and professional sports teams

  • Why he still uses MNT and Food Service skills in his current role

  • What are the critical qualities needed to work with pro athletes

If you’re considering working in Sports Nutrition, have your notebook ready for this episode!

About Pratik

Pratik Patel, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD is the Director of Performance Nutrition and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the New York Giants (part of the National Football League). You can learn more about him in his RDN Spotlight on our blog.

You can follow Pratik on Instagram, Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Tamara Melton