Expert Panel: Ruth Wood-Martin
Registered Dietitian and Performance Nutritionist
Ruth is a Dietitian (RD) registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). Her early career focused on clinical dietetics in the National Health Service (NHS).
Having completed post-graduate education in the field of Performance Nutrition, she worked with several athletes from various sports in the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI), before taking up a full-time position as the Performance Nutritionist with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) in 2006, working primarily with the Senior Men's squad.
After 16 years of service as the Head of Nutrition with the IRFU, she retired in 2022 from this position, having developed a nutrition team of 11 Performance Nutritionists across Elite Player Pathways and professional rugby programmes on the island of Ireland.
Ruth is currently an assessor for entry onto the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENR).
She has represented nutrition on the Sport Ireland Institute Professional Accreditation (SIIPA) Committee for several years. This Committee assesses applications from Biomechanics, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Performance Analysis, Physiology, Psychology and Strength & Conditioning professionals to be applied practitioners in high-performance sport in Ireland.
Ruth has recently received the British Dietetic Association Ibex award 2022 for professional achievement.
Publications and Research
Throughout her career, Ruth has promoted the value of research to develop both performance nutrition practice and practitioners. She has been directly involved in research on gut health in professional rugby players, as well as examining the dietary behaviours and attitudes of young players to nutrition.
Ruth recently contributed to the Sports Nutrition in Modern Rugby chapter in The Dynamics of Modern Rugby, published in 2021. This chapter covered the development of sports nutrition into what is now considered an integral component of high-performance plans.