THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDE BOOK This nutrition guide provides general guidelines to help optimize dietary intake for sports competitors. Dietary intake requirements can vary depending upon an individual’s energy expenditure, metabolism, state of health, etc.
Now more than ever, athletes need accurate sports nutrition information. Optimal nutrition is an integral part of peak performance while an inadequate diet and lack of fuel can limit an athlete’s potential for maximum performance. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation available regarding a proper diet for athletes.
In the quest for success, many athletes will try any dietary regimen or nutritional supplementation promising a new level of physical performance. However, most often an evaluation and modi cation of current dietary intake can be employed to help maximize peak performance.
The human body must be supplied continuously with energy to perform its many complex functions. As an athlete’s training and competition level increases, the body’s energy demands also increase. Several energy systems in the body can provide athletes with fuel as long as they are consuming the proper foods. One energy system relies totally on carbohydrates while another uses carbohydrates as well as fats. When an athlete works near or at maximal intensities, carbohydrates are the prime fuel the body can use. During prolonged exercise such as cycling, triathlons, and long-distance swimming, the amounts of fats and carbohydrates used may rise and fall depending upon:
Duration and intensity of the exercise
An individual’s fitness level
Food and drink consumed prior to and during the exercise