chapter  2
20 Pages

Evaluation of Nutrient Adequacy of Athletes’ Diets

ByNanna L. Meyer, Melinda M. Manore

In today’s competitive sports environment, athletes need to be physically and mentally fit to perform at their best. Research clearly shows that nutrition can play an important role in improving exercise performance, decreasing recovery time from strenuous exercise, preventing exercise-associated injuries due to fatigue, providing the fuel required during times of high-intensity training, and controlling weight.1 Adequate and proper nutrition is important for active individuals to meet their overall energy, nutrient, and fluid needs. Thus, many athletes are interested in learning how to improve their dietary and fluid intakes for health and performance. One of the first steps in determining how to best improve an athlete’s diet is to assess his or her food, fluid, and supplement intakes within the context of their weight goals, sport training routine, and competition schedule. Knowing when an athlete eats in relationship to exercise training may be as important as knowing what he or she eats. Regular assessment of

2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................... 51 2.2 Dietary Assessment ......................................................................................... 52 2.3 Dietary Guidelines .......................................................................................... 52 2.4 Dietary Reference Intakes ...............................................................................54 2.5 Approaches to Assessing Dietary Adequacy ................................................... 55 2.6 Dietary Recommendations for Sport and Exercise ......................................... 58

2.6.1 Energy Intake ...................................................................................... 58 2.6.2 Carbohydrates ..................................................................................... 59 2.6.3 Protein ................................................................................................. 62 2.6.4 Fat ....................................................................................................... 62 2.6.5 Micronutrients ..................................................................................... 63 2.6.6 Fluid ....................................................................................................65