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Lauren currently works as the Sports Dietitian for Texas Tech Football where she manages all aspects of nutrition, nutrition education, and hydration protocols. Previously Lauren worked as the Performance Nutrition Coordinator for the Athletic department at the University of California Los Angeles. Here she managed athlete nutrition needs, relative energy deficiency in sport, product relations, and the Performance Nutrition Internship program. During this time she also served as the contract Dietitian for the UCLA Spirit Teams where she provided team education and individual dietary counseling. Beyond her work as a collegiate sports dietitian, Functional Fueling is her pride and joy. She loves the diversity of working with people of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels. Lauren believes in a science-based and functional nutrition approach that encompasses lifestyle, gastrointestinal health, and nutrient dense foods in her management of nutrition care. She believes that true health begins from the inside out and takes into account genetics, lifestyle, hormones, metabolism, and digestive health. Her passion as a dietitian is in helping people find their individual nutritional remedy that is functional to their life and maximizes their health and performance.


Lauren’s passion for health and nutrition began when she experienced first hand what it did for her as an athlete. She grew up a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, receiving a cheerleading scholarship to the 12x National Championship cheerleading program at Stephen F. Austin State University. She cheered all four years of her undergraduate schooling, placing 6th in the nation at Collegiate Partner Stunt Nationals, and cheered on several Sweet 16 sidelines. She was actively involved with the Student Nutrition Association during her studies, serving as an officer for 3 years, and the President of the School of Human Sciences Ambassadors Program. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Nutrition Sciences. It was during this time that Functional Fueling was born, out of Lauren’s pure passion to make a remarkable impact on innumerable people’s health and performance. During her graduate work, she was lead author on a research study looking at the effects of weight requirements in sport on athlete’s nutritional intake, supplement use, and body image. She went on to publish and present this research at the Texas Academy of Sports Medicine Conference. During her Dietetic Internship she spent time working both in the acute care setting providing therapeutic nutrition in the ICU, as well as in the outpatient setting helping people manage chronic disease, food allergies, gastrointestinal issues, and weight loss. She has completed internships with Stephen F. Austin State University Athletics, The Institute for Lifestyle, Preventive, and Family Medicine, Ironman Sports Nutrition, and EXOS Performance Center to name a few. After receiving her Registered Dietitian’s license, she served as dietitian fellow through the Gatorade Sports Nutrition Fellowship at Texas A&M University. Lauren holds her credential as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Dietitian Licensure through the State of Texas, and is Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.


When not working as a dietitian, Lauren enjoys outdoor activities, olympic lifting, running, yoga, making fermentable foods, thrift store shopping, and learning about and visiting new cultures.

Lauren Papanos, MS, RD, CSSD