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Out there in the real world, one athletic trainer experienced the following:

I had my first memorable experience dealing with nutrition during my senior year of college working with my volleyball team. My first encounter occurred when a few of my athletes came to me because they had been feeling more fatigued than usual and wanted some tips on how to improve their energy. I had them give me a list of what they ate each day for a week, and we developed better options to give them more energy based on this list. The second situation I encountered involved one of the smallest girls on the team. It became clear that whenever we had team meals, she rarely ate a reasonable amount of food. The coaching and athletic training staff became concerned that an eating disorder might be the cause. After a few conversations, my supervising athletic trainer and I discovered that she had a problem with eating in front of others. As soon as she returned to her room and was around a smaller crowd of a few close friends, she would eat considerably more. These experiences taught me how to manage young female athletes. Weight and food are commonly sensitive subjects with this group. As an athletic trainer, do not assume things about your athletes before you have gathered all the facts, because things are not always as they seem.

Kristin McQuiniff, AT, ATC

Washington Court House, Ohio


learning outcomes

After working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the role of nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and enhancing performance.

  2. Describe nutritional intake recommendations and how these are related to dietary analysis.

  3. Explain the current hydration guidelines and describe the risks associated with variation from these standards.

  4. Describe the nutritional differences associated with changes in an individual's health, age, and activity level.


As an athletic trainer, you are responsible for educating your athletes and patients and assisting them with improving their personal performance and health. Throughout this section, you will be presented with various scenarios pertaining to different aspects of personal performance. Using the information given, you are to design a plan to help these athletes and patients improve. These activities will help you fine-tune your skills and develop new and beneficial fitness plans. Before beginning a fitness plan, ensure that you completely understand your athlete's issue or goal and any confounding factors that could affect your decisions. By implementing all the information you have learned in the classroom, you can determine a plan of action to help athletes and patients improve. The Brain Jolts in this chapter are tips to help you bridge the gap from the athlete's issue or goal to the treatment plan. Each Brain Jolt leads you to information that could ...

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