Sports Nutrition Considerations for Athletes

EAL Questions and Evidence Synthesized

The researchers involved in crafting this position statement sought to answer specific questions related to energy and exercise. They are as follows and taken directly from the position statement. The evidence statements were graded based on Good, Fair, and Limited (ACSM, 2016).

Resulting Themes

Throughout the process of analyzing the body of sports nutrition literature available in the EAL repository, eleven themes were discovered based on the results of nearly 10 years of research.

Take Away Messages

This position stand is a pivotal piece of work in that it lends new insight into how fitness professionals and sports nutritionists can most effectively guide their clients toward performance success.

  • Carbohydrates belong in the center of the plate and are more likely to be under-consumed than protein.
  • Any nutritional programming recommendations must first consider the individual athlete followed by the sport, the event, the timing of the season, the environment, etc.
  • No evidence that training in carb-restricted (training “low”) state will enhance performance. Training low can result in illness and injury.
  • Carb needs are lower for non-athlete, but active individuals.
  • New protein intake guidelines are based on the three T’s — total, timing, and type.For a more detailed perspective, read the official position statement. Aside from the information presented and interpretation by the organizations involved in publishing this statement, it’s important to respect your professional scope of practice and refer to a registered dietitian for assistance in establishing nutritional guidelines and programs for athletes and non-athletes alike.



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Erin Dollison Nitschke

Erin Dollison Nitschke

Passionate college educator, writer, and health and fitness professional. I am an NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Health Coach, & Pn1.