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When you finish this chapter you should be able to

  • Distinguish the six classes of nutrients and describe their major functions.

  • Explain the importance of good nutrition in enhancing performance and preventing injuries.

  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of dietary supplements.

  • Discuss popular eating and drinking practices.

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of consuming a pre-event meal.

  • Differentiate between body weight and body composition.

  • Explain the principle of caloric balance and how to assess it.

  • Assess body composition using skinfold calipers.

  • Evaluate methods for losing and gaining weight.

  • Recognize the signs of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.


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amino acids glycogen supercompensation
osteoporosis obesity
lactase deficiency adipose cell
anemia body composition
glycemic index (GI)


Visit for further exercises to apply your knowledge:

  • Clinical application scenarios covering methods of losing and gaining weight, nutrition to enhance performance and prevent injury, dietary supplements, and caloric balance and how to assess it

  • Click-and-drag questions covering vitamins, minerals, prevent meals, and body composition

  • Multiple-choice questions covering nutrients, proper nutrition to enhance performance, dietary supplements, hydration, and eating disorders

  • Selection questions covering nutrients and their major functions


The relation of nutrition, diet, and weight control to overall health and fitness should be an issue of critical importance to everyone. Individuals who practice sound nutritional habits reduce the likelihood of injury and illness by maintaining a higher standard of healthful living.11 We know that eating a well-balanced diet can positively contribute to the development of strength, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance.66,81 Unfortunately, misconceptions, fads, and, in many cases, superstitions regarding nutrition have a significant impact on dietary habits.48

Many athletes associate successful performance with the consumption of special foods or supplements.25 An athlete who is performing well may be reluctant to change dietary habits regardless of whether the diet is physiologically beneficial to overall health.85 There is no question that the psychological aspect of allowing the athlete to eat whatever he or she is most comfortable with can greatly affect performance. The problem is that these eating habits tend to become accepted as beneficial and may become traditional when, in fact, they may be physiologically detrimental to athletic performance. Thus, many nutrition “experts” tend to disseminate nutritional information based on traditional rather than experimental information.25 The athletic trainer must possess a strong knowledge of nutrition so that he or she may serve as an informational resource for the athlete.10,46,66 SoR:A The athletic trainer should make an effort to establish a support team that includes a registered dietitian, sports nutritionist, or other health care professional with ...

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