Get to Know Sports Dietitian Tim Dileo

Published on : 6/17/22
  • Tim Dileo, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, is a licensed sports dietitian supporting Sodexo campuses in Massachusetts. He works with student-athletes at Salem State University, Endicott College, Clark University, Anna Maria College and Bentley University to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrients to fuel them throughout the season. Prior to joining Sodexo, he also worked as the official sports dietitian for football teams at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Baylor University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

    We chatted with Tim to learn more about his unique role and the support he provides to student-athletes in New England.

    Interviewer: Why did you become involved in sports dietetics?

    Tim Dileo: I’ve been an athlete my entire life and studied exercise physiology in college, so I always knew I wanted to be involved in sports. Nutrition is such an important element of strength and conditioning, and after navigating these diet challenges on my own, I wanted to help other athletes learn how eating well impacts their body’s performance and recovery.

    Interviewer: How is a sports dietitian different from other registered dietitians?

    Tim Dileo: Most dietetic programs don’t include a sports-specific curriculum. You can become a certified sports specialist in dietetics (CSSD) by completing 2,000+ hours of hands-on experience with athletes and conducting independent learning to pass a board exam. As a sports dietitian, I have a more in-depth understanding of the energy systems for different sports and the unique nutrition needs of each athlete.

    Interviewer: How do you support student-athletes on campus?

    Tim Dileo: I meet one-on-one with athletes to discuss topics like changing body composition, hydration and healthy eating habits, helping them identify the nutrition sources they need in the dining hall and on campus. I also host group meetings with entire sports teams to discuss pre-workout fuel or quick dorm meals they can eat before practice when the dining hall is not yet open. Most of the time, I need to focus on the basics and help students build a strong foundation of eating habits. Many students come looking for a supplement to give them an edge when they really need to realize that their long-term athletic performance is dependent on how they fuel and hydrate their bodies with food every day.

    Interviewer: How do you collaborate with your Sodexo colleagues to support student-athletes?

    Tim Dileo: I make sure the dining halls serve the types of food that student-athletes need and that they’re getting the most value out of their meal plans. Lean proteins are very important for athletes, so I work with the chefs to menu things like salmon, chicken and turkey on a regular basis, and always with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

    Interviewer: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

    Tim Dileo: I become very involved with each team and get to know the athletes personally. Seeing their journey and having a positive impact on their athletic performance is very rewarding. I love watching the light bulb go off in their head as they realize that their diet and hydration routine is giving them more energy to excel.