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Functional Sports Nutrition magazine is the UK’s leading magazine for sports nutritionists, personal trainers and sports coaches.

Functional Sports Nutrition magazine sample issue

A 12-year reflection

After a strong 12-year run of Functional Sports Nutrition history, I’d like to take a few moments to pause for reflection. It’s something I encourage all of my clients and students to do on a regular basis. Alongside reading books and journals, it is a vital way to learn and progress in our professions and personal lives. 

FSN has always stood between two market places – it is not a typical sports nutrition publication, with over-reliance on black tubs of protein powders and brightly coloured sports drinks, nor does it sit squarely in the midst of complimentary health. 

Functional sports nutrition, as a concept, attempts to bring these two areas together to the benefit of sporting health; in this regard, my strap line has become ‘health feeds performance’. During the past 12 years, this concept has started to appear within sports nutrition in small parts. One example is, after the initial beetroot studies, there has been an apparent scientific race to find the next food that can be called an ergogenic aid. Let me cut to the chase here guys – all ‘nature made’ food is potentially performance-enhancing, depending on the personalised context of the individual athlete. Human microbiome discussions have also started in this space, and in addition to the gut-brain axis, we’re even now aware of the gut-muscle and gut-lung axes! 

But there is still much to do. Scientists, by the very nature of examining a topic in detail, tend to reduce complex systems (e.g. the human body) into simple explanations, whereas we need to be actually embracing a certain degree of complexity. This is what good practitioners naturally do: learn as much as possible about their active client, and use scientific observations and laboratory assessments to inform their suggested interventions, alongside a healthy dose of intuitive, experiential and reflective practice. 

Myself and my highly talented and insightful colleagues are continually writing and lecturing on this topic; to grow as practitioners, and to educate others. 

Please enjoy this issue of FSN, as we continue to expand this wonderful discipline. 

To your sporting health…


Ian Craig, Editor

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