Lesson 10, Topic 1
In Progress

Nutrition For The Athlete Is Different: For Educators

Michael Bewley September 19, 2020


On the surface, getting the nutrition you need seems easy enough. After all, everyone eats something every day. Sports nutrition is a much more involved process. While the non-athlete may survive day-to-day by following general nutritional guidelines, an athlete’s needs are much more sophisticated.

Defining Nutrition

Defining nutrition seems to be an appropriate starting point, so here we go! Nutrition is the process of eating and converting food into structural and functional body compounds like skin, muscle, and hair. Dietary nourishment allows for growth, maintenance, repair, and overall health. 
 Sports nutrition is the act of eating a diet conducive to the development of health and performance. Therefore, sports nutrition includes eating a variety of foods to optimize health while having the energy to sustain performance and facilitate recovery.

Much like weight lifting is used to increase speed, strength, and power; sports nutrition is used to replenish depleted energy stores, facilitate muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth) and optimize recovery. Given that an athlete’s daily training regime is more significant than a non-athlete, they require a more substantial amount of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

These higher nutrient needs are in large part to combat the day-to-day stresses placed on the body (ex, weight training, practice, competition).  As a result, sports nutrition plays a massive role in the following:

  • Decreased time of recovery between training and competition
  • Increased energy
  • Muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth)
  • Maintain desired body composition
  • Injury prevention
  • Improved health and

Specific Dietary Needs

Now that you understand how sports nutrition goes beyond the general dietary guidelines for a non-athlete, we need to understand food modulation and what ratios of nutrients we need based on training level and intensity.

Food modulation is the practice of eating variable amounts of nutrients to sustain performance and facilitate recovery. Also, meal planning and nutrient timing are essential practices. While the non-athlete may achieve optimal health by eating three balanced meals a day, the athlete‘s diet is much more involved. It requires systematically varying the amounts of critical nutrients during significant times of the day as they relate to a specific training schedule and intensity.

As you can imagine, this can become an overwhelming task for anyone, coach, or athlete. As a result, Coach Bewley has developed this Critical Reload Sports Nutrition Guidebook and Nutrition Calculator to help you meet your health and performance goals. Let’s begin your pursuit toward unparalleled health and performance.


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