The term Sports nutrition and dietetics practice refers to the application of the evidence based nutrition and dietetics knowledge in exercise and sports. This knowledge is used to manage safe and effective nutrition strategies that enhance lifelong health, fitness and optimal physical performance. Nutrition plays a key role in the ability to engage in physical activity, sports and other aspects of physical performance. Sports nutrition addresses relationship of nutrition with physical activity including weight management, exercise and physical performance. It Assess –educates and counsels what, how much and when to consume foods and fluids to maintain health, appropriate body weight and composition, and how to properly fuel the body for activity and exercise, training and conditioning, and physical performance. Sports nutrition guidance can enhance training capacity, improve physical performance, reduce the risk of injury, enhance healing process, strengthen the immune system, enhance cognitive performance and promote appropriate body weight and composition in athletes.
Evidence based nutrition strategies facilitate recovery from strenuous exercise by refueling and rehydrating the body, providing nutrients to build and repair muscles, reducing stress and preparing athletes for the next training session or competition. This is especially important for competitive athletes who train or compete multiple times per day, and for individuals who engage in strenuous, repetitive, physical training.
Aspects that concern the athletes and individuals who are engaged in strenuous, repetitive physical training:
- Special energy and nutrient needs (energy shakes, vitamin mineral supplements for health, and weight management).
- Appropriate hydration practices, body weight and body compositions management strategies.
- Daily fluid needs for health, fitness, exercise/task specific physical performance based on sweat rate, environmental conditions, fluid balance assessments.
- Changes in usual intakes as a result of dietary manipulation to optimize exercise/task specific physical performance (e.g. tapers, carbohydrate loading, glycogen restorations, rehydration, recovery nutrition following pre competition weight in.)
- Change in appetite or usual intake, illness and injuries, treatment and rehabilitation and psychological issues (stress, trauma, depression).
Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, April 2014, Volume 114, Number 4