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13 December 2017

What is sports nutrition?

What is sports nutrition?

The World health organisation defines nutrition as the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs.

Sports Nutrition is the specialized branch of nutrition that studies food with relevance to athletic performance.

Sports nutrition has short-term as well as long-term effects on the body composition, metabolism and ultimately the performance abilities of athletes


2010: IOC Consensus Statement “Diet significantly influences athletic performance. A diet that provides adequate energy from a wide range of commonly available foods can meet the carbohydrate, fat, and, micronutrient requirements of training and competition.”




  • Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of both healthy and unhealthy foods— bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks,    corn, and cherry pie.
  • They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant forms are sugars, fibres, and starches.
  • Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity.
  • Carbohydrates only provide 4 calories per gram.
  • The healthiest sources of carbohydrates—unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by    delivering vitamins, minerals, fibre, and a host of important phytonutrients.
  • Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily    digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.
  • Fat 
  • Oxidised in the body to provide energy for your cells
  • Energy dense – 9 calories per gram.
  • Provide essential fatty acids
  • Carry fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K around the body as well as antioxidants
  • Fat stores provide insulation to the body by preventing heat loss Also provide a reserve of energy for the body which is stored as adipose tissue.
  • Part of the structure for brain tissue and layer around nerves
  • Form phospholipids which are a component of cell membranes
  • Athletes should aim for the majority of their fat intake to come from unsaturated
  • Omega 3 fatty acids may be of particular interest to athletes due to increased recovery and oxygen deliver
  • Athletes should aim for 20-35% of their total calorie intake to come from fat sources
  • Protein 
  • Enzymatic function- all enzymes are proteins
  • Transport function- Act as carriers for other nutrients
  • Hormonal function- e.g. insulin
  • Immune function- antibodies fight illness
  • Buffering function- maintain pH balance of the blood
  • Muscle growth & repair
  • Protein is the most satisfying nutrient
  • Provides a small fuel source for exercise
Danny Dickerson; CNC, CPT, CCC
Lifestyle Nutrition/Wellness Coach
A Better Way of Life

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