Sports Nutrition

Athletic ability is determined by:

While good nutrition is third on this list, that should not underrate its importance; an incorrect or poor diet decreases or negates effective training and performance.

Nutritionists advise athletes to follow the same Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested for nonathletes. There is no need for an athlete to eat more than the balanced, healthy diet recommended for a nonathlete, even though a myriad of health supplements and dietary products exist. Most athletes need the same amount of nutrients as nonathletes; the vitamin and mineral requirements of both groups are very similar.

Athletes may require more energy, depending on the particular sport, because of their increased physical activity. For example, marathon runners, competittive swimmers, or weight lifters require:

The sports industry promotes the viewpoint that athletes require "more" or have different needs than normal people; they encourage using high-potency vitamin pills and/or protein supplements. Such misinformation is confusing for athletes and coaches. While nutrition is linked with physical stamina and performance, it is not possible to change average athletes into champions simply by altering diet.

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