Sport Nutrition

The view of sports nutrition today has much evolved from the ancient Olympic gladiators’ meal plan. Scientists are continually interested in learning more about this abiding subject. Research shows that the coupling of exercise and proper diet is what produces a healthy lifestyle that can maintain the “prevention/management of [chronic diseases such as] noninsulin-independent diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, mental health, colon cancers, stroke and back injury.”  In 2008, US News reported that 65% of Americans exercised regularly by working out, playing sports, and/or other physical activities,  thus the importance of proper nutrition is of great interest to athletes and exercisers for optimal performance and long term benefits. In addition to diet, social and cultural influences, lifestyle habits, motivation and training determine successful athletic performance (Maughan).  However, states Maughan, “without proper nutrition, the full potential of the athlete will not be realized, because performance will not be at its peak, training levels may not be sustained, recovery from injury will be slower, and the athlete may become more susceptible to injury and infection.” Understanding sports nutrition leads to optimal athletic performance and lifetime health benefits and can thus be evaluated by the intake of certain nutrients and supplements when exercising, by learning the way the body utilizes these materials and how these practices complement future diet and exercise of the individual.