Nutrition support

As performance nutritionists we look to support our athlete’s ability to tolerate training and competition through optimising what they eat on a day to day basis.

What is nutrition support? 

Our support takes many forms including athlete education, one to one support, practical cooking classes and provision of resources such as recipes and infographics. We work closely with the coaches and practitioners from other disciplines (physiology, psychology, physiotherapy and strength & conditioning) to ensure our athletes get the best support possible.

How we work

Our goal is to ensure all our athletes become self-sufficient, allowing them to take ownership of their own nutrition. Our department believes in a food first approach to sports nutrition and has a heavy focus on developing basic practical competences within the kitchen.  We have strong links with our coaches and other performance staff, which enables us to tailor our services to the individual to ensure impactful service provision.

Our department prides itself on providing opportunities to the next generation of aspiring performance nutritionists. Since our programme's inception in 2015 we have had 15 budding nutritionists gain a wealth of applied experience within our team, which has allowed them to make a break in this demanding industry. Previous MSc interns have gone onto gain jobs within professional sport, academia and industry post-graduation.

We also have strong links with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, which allows us to pick the brains of many of Loughborough’s sector leading academics and apply their findings to our delivery across a variety of situations. Some of our staff are also directly involved in the academic side of performance science, as well as supporting athletes. This gives athletes and coaches alike the confidence that everything we do is grounded in science and evidence based, leaving no stone unturned.

Experience of our team

Our team has many years of experience supporting a wide range of athletes and sports, from world and commonwealth champions to athletes currently competing for the university in BUCS.  As well as our performance sport athletes, we also have experiences working with a vast range of external clients including motorsport champions, ironman athletes and athletes undertaking extreme endurance challenges such as the Marathon des Sables. We ensure that everything we do is grounded in science and look for innovative ways to apply science to enhance performance.

Placement Students

Every year we offer a range of opportunities to students at Loughborough University to help develop and support their journey as a practitioner.

Each year we aim to offer one part-time MSc student the opportunity to work with us and our sports teams on a part-time basis whilst completing their MSc. We also offer full-time MSc students the opportunity to do a voluntary placement alongside their studies. These placements allow us to greatly increase the support we are able to offer our performance sports teams and scholars as well as invaluable experience of working in performance sport.

Andrew Shepherd

Performance Nutritionist Lead

Andrew is a Sport and Exercise Nutrition registered (SENr) performance nutritionist with 10 years' experience in providing performance nutrition support to athletes.  He has previously held performance nutrition roles at Sheffield Hallam University and has further experience as a Sport and Exercise Nutritionist for Swim England, in a number of different disciplines including swimming, synchronised swimming and British Diving.

Prior to beginning his performance nutrition career, Andrew had a successful senior swimming career of his own which included national medals and international representation. Over the last decade, he has supported athletes who have represented their country at Junior, European, World, Olympic, Para-Olympic and Commonwealth Games across a variety of sports.

In addition to holding a BSc and M.Dip from Sheffield Hallam University, Andrew also holds a Level One Anthropometrist (ISAK Level 1), Level 2 certificate in Food Safety, the UKAD Accredited Anti Doping Advisor Certificate.

Harriet Bates

Performance Nutritionist

Harriet provides nutrition support to team-based sports at Loughborough University including Lightning KSL, Hockey and Cricket performance teams, as well as individual TASS athletes. Her interests lie in nutritional strategies to aid recovery and support athlete robustness. Outside of Loughborough Sport, Harriet also works as a Performance Nutritionist at British Rowing.

Harriet is ISAK qualified, a UKAD educator and is currently a Sport and Exercise Nutrition Graduate registrant (SENr Graduate) and is working towards becoming a fully registered practitioner (SENr).

Harriet leads nutrition delivery for men's and women's Hockey, Lightening Cricket and TASS.