Nutrition for Athletes

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・7 Sources

The different associations that deal with sports nutrition are in agreement that diet enhances physical activity, the performance of athletes, and recovery from exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine indicates that athletes are needed to meet their energy and macronutrient needs, especially proteins and carbohydrates (Rodriguez, DiMarco, & Langley, 2009). In this way, they will ensure that they maintain their body weight, replenish the glycogen stores and make sure that there is tissue build up and repair. In addition, the athletes are required to be well-hydrated before and drink enough during and after the exercise to maintain fluid balance in the body (Rodriguez, DiMarco, & Langley, 2009). The only beverages recommended are those containing glucose and electrolytes since they are essential for the maintenance of the blood concentration but vitamin and mineral supplements are prohibited since the food consumed should include enough. Few studies have been conducted on the requirements of micronutrient during exercises though some such as B vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, and magnesium have been considered essential.

On the other hand, the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicates that engaging in resistance exercises needs ingestions of free amino acids and proteins or combination with carbohydrates for maximum stimulation of protein synthesis (Kreider, Wilborn, Taylor, Campbell, Almada, Collins, ... & Kerksick, 2010). During exercise, the Society recommends the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet 30-60 grams per hour distributed in 6-8% solution every 10-15 minutes. Proteins should be added to make a ratio of CHO:PRO-4:1 as a way to increase the endurance during exercise. Moreover, it promotes the re-synthesis of glycogen in acute and subsequent levels of endurance activities. Subsequently, the association indicates that using varying doses of carbohydrates and proteins in prolonged resistant training and after activities stimulate the strength and composition of the body (Kreider et al., 2010). The timing is also shown as essential in planning and consumption of whole foods to enhance the recovery and repair of tissues through muscle protein synthesis.

Conversely, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association has an object in helping trainers support their health through performance through safe feeding practices (Buell, Franks, Ransone, Powers, Laquale, & Carlson-Phillips, 2013). They recommend that the athletes should develop a habit of engaging in proper nutrition with a goal of improving their performance. It indicates the different regulatory bodies that have been formed to govern the use of dietary supplements since this industry has been poorly regulated in the past (Buell et al., 2013). Individuals are, therefore, advised to evaluate the efficacy of nutritional supplements through the available legal and safety procedures in ensuring that whatever they consume in enhancing their performance in the field. They indicate that an international performance diet could be used to improve the activity of the athlete through proper nutrition. 

Nutritional Needs of Athletes

Ultra-Endurance/Endurance Athletes

The dietary recommendations for the endurance and ultra endurance athletes indicate that there should be a consumption of enough food and fluids to sustain their performance and minimize fatigue during both training and competition (Paulin, Roberts, Roberts, & Davis, 2015). They should aim at achieving an energy balance through the consumption of adequate carbohydrates and intake of fluids to cater for the losses while having a protein intake sufficient for the repair and healing of body tissues. The daily requirements are added to the intensity of training increases. The consumption of carbohydrates is essential since it is the primary energy supply for the brain and the body (Paulin et al., 2015). It is, however, consumed in varying amounts depending on the duration, intensity of performance, and the environmental conditions. Other factors that are important include goals for body composition, tolerance in food and fluid endurances, and gender and individual level of fitness.

Intense activity stamina for more than one hour will need an additional supply of carbohydrate during the event since there is limited capacity for muscle storage and it can only support activity for 60-90 mins (Paulin et al., 2015). In protein consumption, they should consider the timing and the type that would promote the recovery quality and the adaptation to training levels. The proteins require being of high biological value for sufficient nitrogen balance in the body that is imperative for prolonged body repair, growth, and healing, hence, the adaptations to training (Paulin et al., 2015). There is the evidence that the consumption of a small amount of milk protein with carbohydrates during and before engaging in the ultra-endurance exercises promotes nitrogen balance for consecutive days of high intensity, high duration of running. The consumption of fats and micronutrients should be in consideration to the body needs and ensure that the food intake is balanced.

An athlete should always be well-hydrated to ensure that their performance is not reduced. It is recommended that the ultra-runners should avoid over hydration using plain water but they should consider the use of carbohydrate-rich fluids. This is because it has been observed in the past that there has been high consumption of plain water with low sodium intake hence the high risk of reduced plasma levels. Some events may require water rationing between 9-12 liters per day (Paulin et al., 2015). Hydration guidelines indicate consumption of 16.oz 2hours before and 4-8oz. before starting the activity. During the event, they should consume 5-10 oz. every 15-20 minutes and 16-20 oz. Per lb of body weight lost after the exercise.

Power/Strength Activities

Power and sprint training are beneficial in any sporting activities since athletes are involved in field and explosive track events where success is dependent on the maximum force production in using the muscle mass (Slater & Phillips, 2011). They depend on events of short duration and hence the difference in nutritional needs with the endurance athletes. The primary goal of these activities in the maintenance of muscle mass, strength, and production force, hence, the higher amounts of energy-boosting carbohydrates. It is a way of engaging the muscles in response to the broad range of contraction stimuli with an effect on the muscle protein turnover. When the skeletal muscles are induced in this way, they are influenced to adapt to a particular training period with a net balance (Slater & Phillips, 2011). Energy production in the event of short sprints causes degradation of glycogen and intramuscular tissues, especially phosphocreatine. Therefore, prolonged activity will deplete the glycogen stores leading to reduced activity level in training and competition.

The study indicates that these activities rely mostly on the phosphagen system due to the short duration, and high muscle contraction intensity performance. As the activity increases, the anaerobic system plays a critical part and contributes to the activity of the phosphagen system (Slater & Phillips, 2011). The creatine and adenosine phosphate stored in the muscle of individuals performing short duration activities enables them to meet the immediate demand for energy and, hence, the success of weight lifting and other low power activities. On the other hand, the athletes on the other end of power spectrum such as the 400-800 meter sprinter get most the energy used from both the phosphagen and the anaerobic system (Slater & Phillips, 2011). As such, the system involved is dependent on the power activity which can be repeated several times to enable the body to adapt.

Research shows that the consumption of proteins is a priority since it aids in the muscle growth and retention. The power athletes will, therefore, require 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kg body weight most effective when consumed one hour after training. The athletes should consume the high biological value proteins for effectiveness in muscle repair and growth (Slater & Phillips, 2011). On the other hand, they require the consumption of enough calories that maintains the size and strength of the body since not much is used during these events. It is recommended to consume 13-15 calories per pound of weight daily and lower if aimed to reduce weight.

Intermittent Activities

Intermittent activity patterns are mostly performed in team sports with a variance between the different games. Adequate nutrition is required to sustain the team members by enabling them to achieve an ideal muscle mass to support their needs during training (Mujika & Burke, 2010). During the match, the players had an obligation to be well-hydrated and fuelled during the exercise duration. Research indicates the need for each player to develop a plan of consuming carbohydrates and fluids according to their individual needs and activity patterns. They require taking into consideration the energy for the breaks in between the program when planning their nutritional needs (Mujika & Burke, 2010). For these players, there is a priority in the recovery period for repair of body tissue, rehydration, and refueling as they prepare for upcoming activities as their games are seasonal.

Recommendations indicate the use or supplements for the team athletes such as liquid meals, gels, and sports drinks allow them to meet their daily nutritional needs and using buffering agents to enhance performance directly (Mujika & Burke, 2010). Studies indicate that increasing the carbohydrate stores in the liver and muscle before engaging in the sports to help delay fatigue during the activity. In the course of the exercise, carbohydrate intake is in the form of an electrolyte solution associated with high-level performance. The daily recommended intake for low-intensity skills sports is 1.35-2.25 g/lb since it is the only fuel that can be used in the anaerobic system for high exercise intensity (Mujika & Burke, 2010). Fats should be consumed sparingly since they are only used for energy in case the glycogen stores are depleted in high-intensity activity. Additionally, the intake of protein should be similar to that of a healthy individual 0.8 per kilogram per day since it is not useful for energy but only in exceptional cases such as starvation. The recommendations for fluid intake include: 17-20 oz of water of sports drinks 2-3 hours before the exercise and 7-10 oz 20 minutes after the exercise. Hydration is shown to be important for performance and in keeping healthy to prevent an alarming rise in body temperature (Mujika & Burke, 2010). Water is only preferred for those that are working out to lose weight, especially the recreational athletes.

Recommended Diets

Considering the different studies that have been carried out to understand proper nutrition needs for athletes, it is evident that they require a balanced diet and appropriate hydration for the best performance. Different foods have been established mainly for athletes’ performance. First, the Zone diet was developed to aid those with diabetes and heart disease but later considered as critical for athletic performance. It helps provide the chemical energy and ATP that is useful during exercises (Jackle, 2015). It is recommended for power and strength activities since it contains proteins of high biological value and with meal timing an important aspect. It is, therefore, in line with the ISSN recommendations of nutrient timing. The diet can also be favorable in endurance exercises with an addition of carbohydrates and a little fat to cater for more energy needs (Jackle, 2015).

Second, the Paleo diet is common for most of the individuals whether engaging in exercises or not. The food needs, therefore, to be adjusted when it means for athletes since their energy requirements are increased, and they will require consuming sufficient to sustain them through the training and activity sessions. It is recommended that the athletes eat foods of low to moderate glycemic index, low fiber with a small level of fats and proteins (Jackle, 2015). It is especially adjusted for those engaging in endurance exercises where they are needed to eat before, after, during workouts and in the recovery period. It is beneficial since it boosts the intake of amino acids for anabolic functions and muscle development (Jackle, 2015). Reduces the inflammation of tissue and reduces acidity in the body.

Third, a vegan diet has been considered essential for the short training and exercises since power activities, and endurance exercises require an increase in the protein level. An athlete who is a vegetarian will need making a consideration about the Paleo diet (Jackle, 2015). There should be a consistent balance of the protein level with intake of high-level plant proteins. However, even with the adjustments, it cannot support much of the endurance training with a risk of developing different health issues.


Buell, J. L., Franks, R., Ransone, J., Powers, M. E., Laquale, K. M., & Carlson-Phillips, A. (2013). National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement: Evaluation of dietary supplements for performance nutrition. Journal of Athletic Training, 48(1), 124-136.

Jackle, C. (2015). Fueling performance: Determining the efficacy of low-carbohydrate diet models for athletic populations (Honors Thesis). Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University.

Kreider, R. B., Wilborn, C. D., Taylor, L., Campbell, B., Almada, A. L., Collins, R., ... & Kerksick, C. M. (2010). ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: Research & recommendations. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7(1), 7.

Mujika, I., & Burke, L. M. (2010). Nutrition in team sports. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 57(Suppl. 2), 26-35.

Paulin, S., Roberts, J., Roberts, M., & Davis, I. (2015). A case study evaluation of competitors undertaking an Antarctic ultra-endurance event: nutrition, hydration and body composition variables. Extreme Physiology & Medicine, 4(1), 3.

Rodriguez, N. R., DiMarco, N. M., & Langley, S. (2009). Position of the American dietetic association, dietitians of Canada, and the American college of sports medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(3), 509-527.

Slater, G., & Phillips, S. M. (2011). Nutrition guidelines for strength sports: sprinting, weightlifting, throwing events, and bodybuilding. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(sup1), S67-S77.

Get a price
Academic level
Pages *275 words
Total price
$ 0 .00
$ 0 .00

Prices that are easy on your wallet

Our experts are ready to do an excellent job starting at $14.99 per page

What Clients Say About Us
Our Customers Rated UsGreat
Out of 5 Based on 357 Reviews
I experienced difficult times trying to complete huge number of assignments to my university at the same time and you, guys, literally saved me. Everything was done in time and on the highest level! I really appreciate your help.
Essay, History, 12 pages, 7 days, Master's
First time when I placed an order with you, I just lacked time to do all the homework and it was a lot going on in my family. But today I’m doing it sometimes just for fun – I really enjoy communicating with your Customer Support members and just letting myself being a bit lazy
Yuong Lo Mui,
Literature review, IT, 17 pages, 4 days, Master's
My GPA is 4.0 and I’ve always been doing everything myself, but there is a class which I was about to fail thus my GPA would decrease first time in so many years. I ordered few assignments to be completed with and you did a great job! Thanks to you I still remain one of the best students on campus.
Essay, Politics, 8 pages, 5 days, Junior
I am not used to such services and I usually write all the papers by myself. But this time I got in a very difficult situation and had to order my paper on this website. To my surprise it appeared to be quite good. Thank you, it is really nice service. Think I'll get back to you soon!
Thesis, Management, 34 pages, 14 days, Master's
I am on my maternity leave now, so I spend a lot of time at home taking care of my little son. I’ve decided to get one more higher education degree while I’m spending so much time at home and applied for distance learning in one online college. But caring a baby takes even more time then I excepted so I’m the way too busy to write the complicated masters level research works, but is so-so-so cool! Thank you for that you exist! I don’t know what I would do without you all!
Essay, Education, 15 pages, 8 days, Master's
I am studying and working at the same time and it is difficult to cope with university assignments as I am very tired after the work day. You service is a salvation for me as it helps to do everything on time. I am really happy about it. Wish you everything the best! Especially my lovely writer 109!
Coursework, Religion, 11 pages, 7 days, Master's

We at

work according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which means you have the control over your personal data. All payment transactions go through a secure online payment system, thus your Billing information is not stored, saved or available to the Company in any way. Additionally, we guarantee confidentiality and anonymity all throughout your cooperation with our Company.

Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!   Try our service with 15% Discount for your first order!  

Order Now