Nutrition and Athletic Performance

by Dr. Sterling L. Carter, DPT, MS, CSCS, September 11, 2017

Having treated a variety of athletes from the elite level to the
weekend warrior, the same question is often asked, “What should I
eat to be the best I can be?”

This question was answered back in 2000 and then updated in
2009 with a position statement by the American Dietetic
Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of
Sports Medicine. There statement was as follows,
“…physical activity, athletic performance, and recovery from
exercise are enhanced by optimal nutrition.”

In this detailed paper, they outline the types of food an athlete
should consume, and when they should consume them in relation
to the timing of an athletic event.

They also provide recommendations about supplementation for the athlete.
Here is a brief overview of the article, but we recommend that you
view the online reference for the complete details.

» The athlete should consume enough food to
maintain body weight, energy levels, and for peak
» Adequate levels of carbohydrates should be
consumed to maintain proper energy levels. It is
generally recommended to eat 6-10 grams of
carbohydrate per each kilogram of body weight.
Therefore, a 100 kilogram person should be
consuming 600 – 100 grams of carbohydrate per
» Endurance athletes should consume 1.2 – 1.4
grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, and
resistance and strength trained athletes should
consume 1.6 – 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of
body weight.
» Fats should comprise approximately 20-25% of an
athlete’s diet. Fats are important sources of energy
and nutrition.
» Proper fluid intake is important. Approximately 2
hours before competition, an athlete should drink 14
to 22 oz of fluid, during exercise an average of 24
oz of fluid should be consumed per hour of
exercise, and after exercise the athlete should drink
24 oz of fluid for each pound of body weight lost
during competition or practice.
» No vitamin or mineral supplements should be
required if an athlete is eating a variety of foods and
obtaining the recommended carbohydrate, protein
and fat nutrition.
Until next time.

Dr. Sterling L. Carter, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS