In 2014 I left my comfortable corporate fitness and wellness job to become a performance dietitian to work with athletes (chase my dreams). This journey would require me to complete another BS, a Master of Science, along with my dietetic internship and national board examination for dietitians. During my MS I was always doing my research around sports nutrition, vitamin D for athletes, and supplements. Using any chance I could to transform a clinical project into a sports-focused one.
During my graduate nutrition program, I felt like the black sheep. I was told “clinical” is the only way to go and that it’s darn near impossible to work in sports nutrition. I knew clinical dietetics was not for me and did not agree with much of what was taught.
I felt frustrated until I found out about the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), I quickly ordered, “Sports Nutrition & Performance Enhancing Supplements”, by @supphd and @asmithryan that I would read any free chance I had between working with sports teams and completing my studies.
I remember saying to myself, this book is amazing! I wish I could meet both of these brilliant scientists someday and thank them for fueling my passion and knowledge.
I began reading the ISSN Position stand papers which led to my love of sports science. I then took to Twitter posting relentlessly illustrating the ISSN’s position stand papers findings, takeaways, and practical applications for both coaches and athletes. I used all the emojis.
I learned quickly how much misinformation existed on Twitter which significantly ️fueled my passion to promote as much evidence-based information as possible. I committed myself to become a credible sports nutrition resource and dietitian that was open-minded to science.
I attended my first ISSN conference in 2016 in Clearwater Beach Florida and the rest is history. Everyone at the ISSN welcomed me and made me feel comfortable to ask questions, learn and even foster relationships! The ISSN has become like family to me.
Joey, Erik, Trisha, Abby, and many others treated me like family. They were kind, welcoming, and supported me as I grew over the years in my work, studies, and more. To know these people as friends, role models, and mentors is something totally unexpected. I highly recommend you join and learn for yourself how great this organization is. I have learned so much as a practitioner that I have implemented into practice with my clients, athletes, and fellow dietitians.
It is a real honor to be recognized by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), for my contributions in translating the science into practical applications for coaches, athletes, and more. I remember tweeting studies using emojis in the early days of 2015 and people like Dr. Rob Wildman, Chief Science Officer Dymatize told me, “Hey, that’s good stuff keep posting.” Dr. Rob’s comment meant a lot to me as a young student given his robust knowledge and work in the field.
So, I kept sharing the science with the goal to always reduce the misinformation and help guide people away from fear, fads, and lies. The ISSN has so many great position stand papers illustrating the science behind using creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, caffeine, higher-protein diets, and more. Go check them out as they have served as a significant basis of many of my tweets over the years. A huge thank you for this recognition and honor! I also can’t wait to be a presenter next year as well! This organization has helped me become the credible performance nutrition expert I am today. All glory to God and thank you to the ISSN.
The ISSN– Why Go Anywhere Else? Be sure to follow along on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter for all things health, wellness and performance nutrition!
In good health and all glory to God,
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, CISSN
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