Nutrition : The Primary Goal Of Sports Nutrition

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Overview of Sports Nutrition The primary goal of sports nutrition is to achieve energy balance by ensuring an adequate caloric intake in the correct proportion of macronutrients (American Dietetic Association, 2000). These recommendations coupled with the need for quality training and adequate rest are the cornerstones for optimal athletic performance (Earnest, 2002). Achieving energy balance is crucial for the athlete’s ability to consistently train at the intense levels needed for athletic success and continued well-being (Maughan, 2002). Nutritional recommendations for athletes are contingent on many factors, including gender, age, body type, and individual genetic variables. Adjustments in the general guidelines are recommended for different sporting events, positions played, fitness levels, and intensities of exercise. Environmental conditions such as heat, humidity, and altitude also factor into the dietary recommendations given to athletes (Rosenbloom, 2000). In college athletics, nutrition is often the deciding factor between winning and losing. Recreational athletes can enhance athletic performance simply by increasing the time, duration, frequency, or intensity of their training. Collegiate athletes, however, are likely to be trained at similarly high levels with comparable physical talents leaving dietary intake as the deciding factor between winning and losing (Maughan, 2002). In the past, sports nutrition in academia was covered within courses on applied
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