Q / A with Lena Kadlec Sport Nutritionist Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of Germany

Question 1: Dear Lena, do you see a rising interest in sports nutrition and would there be continuing investments from consumers, companies, and nutrition institutes in the future to come up with new approaches?

My answer is pretty simple and direct: Yeah, for sure. Nutrition is currently one of the largest and hottest topics in the media and I can actually see the growing potential every minute. It doesn´t matter which magazine you´re opening or what channel you´re watching, you will see at least one chapter or documentation about nutrition and their effects on health and/or performance. This is a very good sign because people are becoming more aware of what they should eat. Particularly for athletes this is one of the main aspects to stay healthy, train on highest level, and recover as fast as possible. And of course, sport companies and institutes realise the demand and answering to that with an accelerated procedure of new and innovative products. Creative products such as protein powder based mueslis or muffin baking mixtures are bestsellers. I think there is a growing interest on the consumer side, which animated the producers to come up regularly with new products. At a certain point, it might come to a peak selling point because consumers might realize that sports nutrition is not just about the best supplement, it´s much more than that.

Question 2: How are nutrition studies and analyses useful for sports performance?

Nutrition studies and analyses are the main aspect of grounded and solid scientific work. New thoughts and hypotheses of researchers will be tested in those studies and might show us new directions. This nourishes our work; however, the real practice is always different and in my opinion, it´s really important to think outside the box and see the individuality in every athlete and their certain sport. This of course makes our work so complicated, but at the same time so interesting and refreshing. In scientific studies, it´s always challenging to mimic the same practical situation in which our athlete is exposed due to further sport specific demands during competition. And of course, study limitations always exist, which need to be recognized.

Question 3: Which innovations and adjustments do you foresee in the future of sports nutrition?

This is not easily answered; however, I think there will be many more special tests such as gen-, cell-, food- and allergy -tests, which will support sports nutritionists in their individual work. I also think there will be many more useful apps in this area to facilitate work between co-workers and athletes.

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