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After studying this chapter, the reader should be able to:

  • 9.1 List several nutrition principles that are important for athletes across disciplines.

  • 9.2 Describe several nutritional mistakes elite athletes commonly make and potential strategies to overcome them.

  • 9.3 Describe the important nutrition variables in influencing sports performance for endurance, strength, and power athletes and how they act to enhance athletic success.

  • 9.4 Outline an ideal nutrition program for optimal performance in aerobic, strength, and power sports.

  • 9.5 Given a particular sport, be able to apply the appropriate nutrition principles to provide an athlete with generalized recommendations.



  • aerobic power The speed at which adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is generated; increased in endurance athletes due to metabolic adaptations.

  • bonking Athlete fatigue in which exercise intensity dramatically decreases while the athlete's perceived effort increases. Also known as "hitting the wall."

  • carbonic acid An acid formed in the body that acts as an intermediate between sodium bicarbonate/ hydrogen ions and carbon dioxide/water.

  • carnosine A dipeptide comprised of the basic amino acids alanine and histidine.

  • endurance sports Sports and activities lasting 30 minutes or more.

  • energy availability The energy available in the body to fuel physical activity and energy-requiring bodily functions. Determined by the relationship between the calories consumed in the diet and the calories expended in physical activity.

  • glycerol A molecule containing three carbon atoms and three OH molecules; creates an osmotic gradient in the circulation favoring fluid retention, which subsequently reduces fluid excretion from the kidneys and decreases urination; supplement is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

  • "hitting the wall" Athlete fatigue in which exercise intensity dramatically decreases while the athletes perceived effort increases. Also known as bonking.

  • hyperhydration Hydrating above currently optimal levels. By consuming large amounts of fluids prior to exercise, the athlete increases fluid reserves and delays the onset of dehydration.

  • hypertonic fluids Fluids that contain sodium and other electrolytes in higher concentrations than in blood.

  • iron depletion A state of decreased body stores of iron but normal levels of iron in the red blood cells; if not corrected, progresses to iron deficiency anemia.

  • isotonic fluids Fluids in which electrolyte content equals that of blood.

  • metabolic fatigue The fatigue that occurs when the substrates for energy production are used up. Early on in a strength workout this could be from the depletion of creatine phosphate stores, while later fatigue results from impaired energy production from glycogenolysis and anaerobic glycolysis.

  • muscle protein breakdown The rate of breakdown of muscle tissue into component amino acids.

  • muscle protein synthesis The rate of production of muscle tissue from the amino acid pool.

  • net protein balance The balance that exists between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown.

  • neuromuscular fatigue Incompletely understood phenomena of a decrease in athletic performance with intensive activity to fatigue at some point in the pathway from initiation of exercise in the cerebral cortex to activation in the ...

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