Exercise and Nutrient Needs

Authored by: Emma M. Laing

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Nutrition supports exercise and training across the continuum of activity whether the goal is to attain a desired peak competition echelon or maintain an existing level of health and fitness. Achieving the appropriate combination of energy, macronutrients, micronutrients, and fluids will support the regulation of metabolism, maintenance of normal endocrine function, and the provision of adequate fuel during exercise participation. Together, these factors can significantly impact an individual’s body size, body weight and composition, level of fatigue (both physical and cognitive) during exercise, recovery from exercise, and overall risk for illness and injury. Appropriate selection of foods and fluids can determine the intensity or duration of physical activity, and by the same token, the type, intensity, and volume of physical activity can affect daily energy expenditure and fuel-type utilization, which ultimately enhance or reduce success in one’s sport or activity. Indeed, according to the most recent (2009) Nutrition and Athletic Performance position paper 1 issued by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine, “physical activity, athletic performance, and recovery from exercise are enhanced by optimal nutrition.” The collective organizations recommend “appropriate selection of food and fluids, timing of intake and supplement choices for optimal health and exercise performance.” This chapter highlights the basic principles outlined in the Nutrition and Athletic Performance position paper, 1 while integrating contemporary national recommendations for healthy adults such as those from the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) 2 7 and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8

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