Performance Nutrition

Carrie Peterson MS, RD, LD, CSSD

Brief History of Sports Nutrition 

Documentation of ´specialµ foods and nutrition strategies dating WAY back«.  Greek Olympians in 300BC used specific mushrooms to enhance performance  In 1800·s Dutch swimmers used caffeine before races, Belgian swimmers dipped sugar cubes in ether before racing.

Brief History of Sports Nutrition   

Evolution of Gatorade in 1960·s by 4 physicians at the University of Florida to help the football team. Initially met with skepticism that taking in sugar and salt could be beneficial« it caught on fast! Late 1980·s; some colleges, university and professional teams began hiring and consulting with RD WellWell-known athletes started crediting nutrition with their success.

Brief History of Sports Nutrition 

LabLab-Based Sports Nutrition research started in 1960·s at Ball State University under direction of Dr. David Costill 

Effects of nutrition on performance, muscle biopsies, gastric emptying studies«.

Completing the Puzzle
Training Rest/Recovery




What Influences Athletic Ability?
Genetic Endowment Optimal Training Good Nutrition No ´secretµ ingredient!

Performance Nutrition Means« 

Fueling to boost activity performance on a daily basis Fueling to decrease the risk of injuries, recover fully after workouts and stay healthy Fueling with foods that taste good, foods you enjoy, foods that can be prepared easily, and foods you feel confident eating

Consequences of Poor Nutrition 

Weight loss Strength loss Lethargy Chronic Fatigue Soreness, joint pain Micronutrient Deficit Respiratory Infections Diminished Performance ´Overtraining Syndromeµ

Physical Activity Factor Varies Widely

Female Olympic Gymnasts 

1900 kcal/day 

Tour de France Cyclists 

7,000+ kcal/day 

College Football Players (in wt gain mode) 

7,5007,500-8,500 kcal/day

Marvin Austin 6·3µ, 312 pounds 21 years old 4.69 40 yd dash

Jordan Hasay 5·1µ, 98 pounds 19 years old 4:42.21 mile

Energy Needs
Basic Calorie Requirement

1515-30 kcal/#

Calorie Needs for Athletes
Calories expended = RMR + TEF + PA
Calories Consumed Calories Expended

Rule of Thumb: Walk or run 1 mile = 100 kcals burned

Energy Needs
LOW - sedentary ACTVE (30-60min) (30MODERATE (1-1.5hr) (1HIGH (1.5-2hr) (1.5VERY HIGH (2-3hr) (2-

1560- 1800 15601920-2160 19202280-2520 22802640-2880 26403000-3600 3000-

2080-2400 20802560-1880 25603040-3360 30403520-3840 35204000-4800 4000-

3120-3600 31203840-4320 38404560-5040 45605280-5760 52806000-7200 6000-

Carbohydrates (CHO) Fuel Muscle 

A muscle is like a sponge Keep muscles full of fuel Carbohydrates reach muscles quickly Substrate used to form Glycogen Glycogen is the PRIMARY energy source 


The Effect of Diet on Physical Endurance

Maximum endurance time: Fat and protein diet 57 min Normal mixed diet 114 min High-carbohydrate diet 167 min

THE CHALLENGE? Maintain CHO supply to muscles and slow it·s depletion by using fat as fuel

Carbohydrates = FUEL 

Carbohydrate Needs: Needs: 

30 minutes moderate exercise: 4-6 gm/kg (1.8-2.7 gm/#) 4(1.81 hour intense training/day: 7gm/kg (3gm/#) 1-2 hours intense training/day: 8-9 gm/kg (3.5-4gm/#) 8(3.52-4 hours intense training/day 9-10gm/kg (4-4.5 gm/#) 9(4Ultra endurance athlete: >12gm/kg (5.5gm/#)

150150-lb student who does Aerobics classes: 300 gm/day

165 Pound Soccer Player: 675 gm/day

Sample Athlete 

Male soccer player Training 2-3 hours/day 2165 lbs = 75kg 9gm CHO/kg = 675 gm CHO

What does 675gm of CHO mean to an athlete?
2 large bagels 2 cups cereal 2 slices bread 2 cups milk 1 cup fruit yogurt 2 cups pasta/sauce 1 cup beans 2 pc fruit 1 cup fruit juice 2 starchy veggies 4 cups Sport Drink 20oz Soda 70g 90g 30g 25g 45g 100g 45g 50g 30g 60g 60g 70g


Role in Exercise? 

Muscle growth and repair Supplies 10% of fuel when glycogen stores are low Supplies 5% of fuel when glycogen stores are high Aids in repair/recovery following muscle damage

Individuals with Higher Protein Needs 

New training program Energy Restriction 

Diet or extreme expenditure 


Vegetarians Disease Injury rehab Young or old athletes

These aren¶t the people typically using protein supplements!

Protein for Tissue and Muscle Building and Repair
Protein Needs: 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg (0.5 ± 0.8g/#) 

Some research supports up to 2 gm/day Protein intake and timing of protein intake are both important for increasing lean muscle mass Eating protein several times a day may enhance availability of amino acids during workout Going into strength workouts well nourished may enhance strength gains and decrease protein losses Refueling immediately after workouts with a carbohydrate/protein mix is essential for strength gains

Vegetarian Athletes 

Vegetarian athletes (like others) must learn to complement proteins Vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc Eating enough calories can be difficult   

Vegetarian diets are

in bulk &

in calories

Nutrition MISTAKE
Thinking that«. 

All vegetarian athletes are healthy eaters
Some vegetarian athletes suffer less heart disease, cancers, high BP, and DM ² but studies show it is more likely to be from a generally healthier lifestyle  Vegetarian diets can be unhealthy if meat and other animal products are not substituted by nutritionally appropriate foods  Vegetarian athletes need to pay particular attention to iron intake because iron from plant sources is more difficult for the body to absorb! 

2,500 kcal Vegetarian Meal Plan  

Breakfast:  1 cup iron-fortified cereal iron(5mg)  1 cup skim milk or soy milk  12oz Orange Juice (vitamin C) Lunch:  Spinach Salad w ¼ c sunflower seeds & Drg (7mg)  Veggie Burger w cheese on bun (3mg)  1 fruit yogurt (vit C)  

Snack  2 oatmeal raisin cookies (3mg) Dinner  Tofu/Broccoli stir fry or 2 slices cheese pizza (6mg)  1 cup rice (1mg)  1 cup ice cream

Vitamins & Minerals
Which Are Most Important? 

Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin Sodium & electrolytes 


Antioxidants ² A,C,E BloodBlood-building nutrients (folic acid, B12, iron) Calcium

Nutrition MISTAKE
Thinking that«.  Vitamins and minerals give athletes extra energy they need to compete 

Act as co-factors to unlock the chemical energy stored in cofood Meals rich in grains, vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy give athletes energy Multi vitamin/mineral supplement may be necessary for some as an ´insurance policyµ 

Iron & Calcium
Increased small losses in athletes in sweat & urine.


Increased risk of stress fractures
(stress fractures account for 15% of all running injuries*)

Decreased bone-mineral content & density bone-

Most girls age 12-19 consume ~790mg/day 1250% of adult women consume < 700mg
*(Exercise Sport Science Review, 2006)

Popular Vitamins for Athletes
´Mega Menµ  20 vitamins & Minerals listed  11 in amounts > 100% US RDA  3 in amounts > 1000% US RDA  18 other substances

Some interact with corticosteroids, antianti-coagulants, & antiplatelet agents

Vitamins for Athletes  

Look for no more than 100% USRDA of any one vitamin or mineral Take only one each day


Components of Muscle
20% Protein

75% Water

5% other

Fluids & Hydration
Males - 60% body wt. Females - 50% body wt. 

Cardiovascular function Thermoregulation Injury prevention Performance Recovery

Sweat losses during 2 hours of exercise can = 2 liters or more

Physiological Effects of Dehydration  

sweat rate core body heat

blood volume &

heart rate 

cardiovascular function
-less O2 and nutrient-rich blood to muscles nutrient-more reliance on anaerobic system 

Slower removal of wastes

cramping, fatigue

Impaired Performance! 

Muscle strength Speed Stamina Energy Cognitive Process Risk of Injury
95% of muscle cramps are due to dehydration! 

Sweat Loss and Fatigue
Sweat loss in athletes 1-12 quarts/day! 1Sweat Rate Equation: 2 hour workout«.. Pre weight 180.0# Post weight 178# Fluid Intake: 32oz of water and sports drink

140-138=32 ounces of fluid lost + 32 ounces consumed = 64 ounces of 140sweat loss per 2 hours or 32 ounces loss per hour!

This is an example to drink at least 8 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes or double current intake

When Should You Drink?
WHEN TO DRINK 2 hr before exercise 15 minutes before Every 15 minutes DURING After Activity AMOUNT OF FLUID 2-3+ cups 11-2+ cups 1-1.5 cups 2-3 cups for every lb lost
*ACSM Position Paper, 2006

What you already know« 

Don·t rely on thirst 

Already 1-2% dehydrated 1- 

Drink before, during & after
2 hrs before 14-24 oz 14 20-36 oz/hr or 5-12 oz every 15 mins. 205 drink ~150% or 24oz / # lost 24oz  

Water is fine for <1 hr; sport drinks > 1 hr
4-8% carb, 0.5-0.7 g Na+/L 0.5 pop, fruit juices or fruit drinks >10% may q emptying 

Planned rehydration is necessary typically only 1/3 to 2/3 of the volume lost is replaced voluntarily 

Hockey player ave. loss of 3-5% 31 # weight loss = 16 oz. of fluid  160 # player loses 5% ~ 8 # 8 # requires 128 oz of fluid to equal loss  ~6 20 oz sport bottles = 128oz [3.8L]  actually recommend 150%  ~ 10 20oz20oz-sport bottles [5.9 L] 

Nutrition MISTAKE
Thinking that«.  Sports drinks are only needed for exercise lasting more than an hour
Not always true if the activity is intense & occurs in hot, humid conditions  Sports drinks actually drive thirst  Very easy way to improve performance, fight dehydration, and decrease recovery time 

Sport Drinks ² per 8 oz serving 

All Sport Power Ade Gatorade    

HFCS 20g HFCS 19g sucrose/ 15g glucose PR*Solutionfructose PR*Solutionfructose 30g maltodextrins/ Succeed Ultra sucrose/ 14g maltodextrins Red Bull sucrose/ 28g glucose Coke HFCS 27g Orange juice fructose/ 29 glucose

8% 8% 6% 12.5% 6% 12% 11% 12%

80 mg Na+ 55 110 50 trace 215 35 trace


300mg caffeine!

Energy Drinks?
Different from Sports Drinks  Contain caffeine, other stimulants, sugar, herbs and vitamins  Safety concerns for athletes!  Use nutrition, hydration, and lifestyle changes to improve energy level 



Fluid/electrolyte disorder that occurs when Na level in blood is below normal (<136 mEq/L) Headache, malaise, confusion, swollen hands and feet, wheezy breathing Can lead to seizures, coma, death in severe cases Potential causes include: Excessive sweating, excessive Na losses in sweat, over drinking up to or during event, replacing sweat losses with only H2O, Intentional Urine Dilution (before drug testing)

Hyponatremia and Women  


Women MAY be more susceptible than men although the data is inconclusive Females are more diligent drinkers Female athletes are more likely to heed advice (exceed?) from coaches, experts One theory: Estrogen inhibits an enzyme responsible for helping the brain shed excess H2O

2007 Chicago Marathon  


Exceptionally hot and humid day for October (88 degrees, 86% humidity at 10 am) Race was stopped at 3 ½ hour mark 250+ racers hospitalized for heat related ailments Water stations ran out of water early Very limited sports drinks

PrePre-Exercise Fuel
PrePre-exercise fuel should: 

Provide energy to working muscles Maximize blood sugar and glycogen stores Provide a psychological edge Minimize hunger during play Maximize hydration Be individualized

PrePre-Exercise Fuel 

Meals should be 2/3 normal size Meals: 3-4 hours before competition 3Snacks: 1-2 hours before competition 1The closer they are to competition, rely more on liquids and small snacks CHO AMOUNT RECOMMENDED 

1 hour before 0.5 gm CHO/# 2 hours before 0.5-1.0gm CHO/# 0.53-4 hours before 1.0-1.5gm CHO/# 1.0-

Carbohydrate guidelines  

Pre-event 1-2 g/kg 1-2 hrs prior or 4Pre145 g/kg 3-4 hrs prior 3During 1 g/min later in exercise or 4040-65 g/hr or .5-1.0 g/kg/hr .5

Sport drink 

After .75-1.6 g/kg/hr .75-

Timing of protein & carbohydrate
To enhance protein synthesis in muscle and replace glycogen stores«  Don·t exercise in fasted state  Eat immediately after exercise [window of opportunity] 

~ 6-8 g protein + 1-1.5g CHO/kg BW within 30 minutes [1 61oz meat, 1 c milk, 1 Power Bar, OR 1/2c mac & cheese + ~ 50 carb]  6-10g CHO/kg BW per 24 hours


Defined: Helping athletes bounce back for future exercise bouts 

Considerations  Intensity of exercise  When will athlete exercise again?

Nutrition Recovery Goals:
Glycogen restoration  Fluid & electrolyte replacement  Muscle repair and adaptation 

Refueling after Exercise 

VERY Important for Athletes 

For those in multiple events in one day 

For those training daily 

´Windowµ for Refueling 

First 30 minutes after exercise is critical Glycogen repletion occurs faster after exercise
Increased blood flow to the muscle  Enzymes that produce glycogen are most active 

Refueling after Exercise
Facts: Facts:  Muscles replace glycogen @ 5% /hour  20-24 hrs post exercise to 20maximally replenish glycogen stores How?  0.5 g / kg CHO immediately after activity  0.5 g / kg CHO in next 90 min.  Rest

Nutrition MISTAKE
Thinking that«.  Sports shakes, bars, and drinks can replace a balanced diet  

Sports foods can provide an effective, convenient method for the athlete to boost his/her nutrient needs during training and competition. Missing key nutrients including phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Bigger and Stronger
1950 Average Height Of pro BB player Average weight Of pro FB player 1975 2000







Source: ESPN

In the recent media«. 

Over 50% of the 2100+ active NFL players were ´obeseµ with a BMI over 30 (2004)
JAMA 2005  No body comp, data taken from websites  

40% of top high school football recruits weighed in >300 pounds 

Scripps Howard News Service 2006

Yet, What do we do for the BIG Guys?  


EDUCATE them about increased risk for heat illness, asthma, future obesity, cardiac death Emphasize gain LBM Assess body composition, performance parameters, injuries Teach that bigger is not necessarily better (OK if genentics support) Make health a priority or at least on the radar

First Things First« 

Must eat breakfast everyday Eat every 3-4 hours to keep 3blood sugar level Stay hydrated through day

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health."
Hippocrates c. 460 - 377 BC

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