Sports Nutrition

The U.S. created recommended daily allowances (RDAs) to give Americans an idea of the required doses of nutrients needed for a healthy diet. While the RDAs are sufficient for many average adults, it does not take athletes into account. Athletes typically need more nutrients than average adults, so athletes that use the RDAs as a guideline for their diet are deficient in calories, carbohydrates, proteins and water (Georgia Institute of Technology, Apr. 19, 2000). Help your athletic members determine the appropriate amount of RDAs, and you may help them improve their endurance and performance.

To determine the proper amounts of nutrients needed for your athletic members, use the following allowances based on body weight:

Calories – Athletes need to consume about 23 Calories per pound of body weight more than average adults.

Carbohydrates – First determine the caloric needs of the athlete, then multiply that number by 60 percent to determine the required amount of carbohydrates needed daily.

Protein – Athletes need about 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Endurance athletes require protein on the lower end, while strength athletes need protein intake on the higher end.

Water – Athletes need between two to three quarts of water daily. In addition, for every pound lost during exercise, athletes need to consume two cups of water.

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