Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2000;100:1543-1556.
Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians
of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine:
Nutrition and athletic performance.
Abstract: It is the position of the American Dietetic Association,
Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine that
physical activity, athletic performance, and recovery from exercise are
enhanced by optimal nutrition. These organizations recommend appropriate
selection of food and fluids, timing of intake, and supplement choices for
optimal health and exercise performance. This position paper reviews the
current scientific data related to the energy needs of athletes, assessment
of body composition, strategies for weight change, the nutrient and fluid
needs of athletes, special nutrient needs during training, the use of
supplements and nutritional ergogenic aids, and the nutrition
recommendations for vegetarian athletes. During times of high physical
activity, energy and macronutrient needs - especially carbohydrate and
protein intake - must be met in order to maintain body weight, replenish
glycogen stores, and provide adequate protein for building and repair of
tissue. Fat intake should be adequate to provide the essential fatty acids
and fat-soluble vitamins, as well as to help provide adequate energy for
weight maintenance. Overall, diets should provide moderate amounts of
energy from fat (20% to 25% of energy); however, there appears to be no
health or performance benefit to consuming a diet containing less than 15%
of energy from fat. Body weight and composition can affect exercise
performance, but should not be used as the sole criterion for sports
performance; daily weigh-ins are discouraged.
Consuming adequate food and
fluid before, during, and after exercise can help maintain blood glucose
during exercise, maximize exercise performance, and improve recovery time.
Athletes should be well-hydrated before beginning to exercise; athletes
should also drink enough fluid during and after exercise to balance fluid
losses. Consumption of sport drinks containing carbohydrates and
electrolytes during exercise will provide fuel for the muscles, help
maintain blood glucose and the thirst mechanism, and decrease the risk of
dehydration or hyponatremia. Athletes will not need vitamin and mineral
supplements if adequate energy to maintain body weight is consumed from a
variety of foods. However, supplements may be required by athletes who
restrict energy intake, use severe weight-loss practices, eliminate one or
more food groups from their diet, or consume high-carbohydrate diets with
low micronutrient density. Nutritional ergogenic aids should be used with
caution, and only after careful evaluation of the product for safety,
efficacy, potency, and whether or not it is a banned or illegal substance.
Nutrition advice, by a qualified nutrition expert, should only be provided
after carefully reviewing the athlete's health, diet, supplement and drug
use, and energy requirements.