Can ChatGPT Be Your New Sports Dietitian?
Updated: Mar 4
You may have heard recently about ChatGPT…or perhaps you haven’t. Either way, there’s lots of interest in it at the moment. Is it going to change how we work? Is it going to replace jobs? Is it going to replace me - Christie the sports dietitian - and give everyone a dietitian in their pocket for free?!
Well, let’s take a look at what it is, what you can use it for and why I think most people will still need a real-life dietitian 🙂
What is ChatGPT? Well, instead of me writing it out, I asked it that exact question?
And as ChatGPT just told you, it can be helpful for meal planning, recipe inspo (to cook or create), and it can even give you personalised recommendations.
But, nutrition and nutrition support is more than that.
Some things I talk about often in nutrition is: taking an individualised approach, context, and quality.
Whilst you may be able to tell ChatGPT your life story, it can’t connect with you to see how you respond to different foods, design support and guidelines around your lifestyle (one day working from home, the next playing uber driver to your kids or partner for the day), and most importantly for a lot of people, provide accountability and support.
Food and nutrition isn’t just about eating to guidelines. We change. We change across the years, and we change day to day. Especially if your goals or training consist of fat loss or weight restoration, increasing training loads, or managing other health conditions around sport.
How we respond to food and also fuel (ie. eat, prepare food, make the choices we do) comes down to a few more factors than macros scientific guidelines. We need to think about rest, recovery, sleep - how much you’re getting and the quality; hormones; and mental health. These are some of the other factors that dietitians consider and develop nutrition strategies around. Not just how many grams of protein you need in a day. We also know that people respond differently to foods and strategies.
Here’s an example:
Two athletes can be training for the same event.
One eats a lower carbohydrate diet with more quality protein and fats. The other eats a high carbohydrate diet.
One uses 60g carbs per hour; the other 90g per hour.
One uses caffeine regularly; the other is sensitive to it.
Both complete an Ironman event in under 11 hours.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable meal planning service, or want to speed up your google searches, then ChatGPT could be a starting point for you. But, if you’re looking to reduce your mental load, get practical strategies that will work for you, and like having someone there to guide you, then keep in touch with your dietitian.
Happy training and eating,