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Sports Nutrition Basics

Nutrient-Dense Foods For High-Performance Sports Diet

Food fulfills three basic needs: (1) to provide energy; (2) to support new tissue growth and tissue repair; and (3) to help regulate metabolism. These three requirements are met by components of foods called "nutrients", which consist of six classes: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. Foods that are "nutrient dense" supply a significant amount of these nutrients for their calories. A high-performance diet emphasizes nutrient-dense carbohydrates necessary to maintain muscle glycogen - the primary fuel for most sports.

Carbohydrate and Calorie Content of Foods By Item

Studies have shown that adequate dietary carbohydrates must be consumed on a daily basis, especially after exercise, to restore levels of carbohydrates (glycogen) which, as the preferred fuel for most types of exercise, is required for peak athletic performance. So what foods are rich in carbohydrates? Check out our list.

List of Single Serving Under USDA's Food Guidance System

What counts as a single "serving" of foods in the major food groups in the USDA's food guidance system.

Top Ten Nutrition Tips for Active Children

A list of nutrition tips for active children to meet their energy and hydration needs.

High-Carbohydrate Diet Important For Young Athletes

When you or your child athlete thinks of food, think about carbohydrates, such as the whole-grain products, vegetables, and fruits that make up three-fourths of the FDA's new MyPlate food guidance system.

What To Eat and Drink While Playing Sports

Athletes should consume carbohydrate-rich foods or drinks every half hour to hour while playing stop-and-go and endurance sports.

Nutrition During Training For Endurance Events

Training for and competing in endurance events like cross-country running and skiing, triathlons and bicycle racing significantly lowers muscle and liver glycogen stores. Muscle glycogen depletion is a well-recognized limitation to endurance performance. Athletes who train exhaustively on successive days must consume adequate carbohydrate and calories to prevent the cumulative depletion of muscle glycogen. Here are some nutritional recommendations for endurance athletes.

What to Eat In Days Leading Up to Participation in Intermediate Length Events

A variety of sports require intense exertion for periods of 4 to 10 minutes or longer. The 1,500 meter run, wrestling matches, middle-distance swimming events, and rowing contests all demand maximum effort without rest. Here are some tips on what your child should eat and drink in the days leading up to the event.

What to Eat During Stop-And-Go/Short Duration Sports

If your child is playing stop-and-go sports (basketball, football, volleyball, hockey etc.) or participating in short-duration events (gymnastics, sprints to middle distances in track etc.), here's are some tips on what he should eat and drink on the day of competition.

Stop-and-Go Sports: What To Eat Days Before Games

What should your child eat in the days before competing in stop-and-go sports such as soccer, basketball, or football? Here's some advice from nutritionist Suzanne Nelson.

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