SCS Home Study Course: Chapter 7

Nutrition for the Athlete

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Barbara Hoogenboom, PT, EdD, SCS, ATC

Associate Professor - Grand Valley State University School of Physical Therapy

Grand Rapids, Michigan


Mandy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Northbrooke, IL



By the completion of this course the student will be able to:


1.   Describe and compare the metabolic pathways for energy utilization, and relate each to an athletic endeavor.

2.   List the ranges for daily intake of macronutrients, and offer healthy alternatives for food choices for each. 

3.   Articulate the reasons why high fat or other fad diets are not appropriate for athletes.

4.   List common micronutrients important to health and athletic performance and their functions (include vitamins and minerals).

5.   List common micronutrient deficiencies in female athletes.

6.   Provide guidelines for hydration of the athlete, before, during and after competition and describe the adverse effects of inadequate

      hydration for the athlete.

7.   Describe the concept of nutrient timing and offer several examples of when this might come into play for athletes. 

8.   Define “ergogenic aid” and describe the adverse effects of banned ergogenic aids, such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone and


9.   Offer examples of nutritional ergogenic aids and the problems these may pose for NCAA athletes who undergo drug testing.

10. Seek additional information regarding drug testing procedures (WADA and NCAA), the female athlete triad

      ( and sports dietetics, including potential referrals (



I.     Introduction

II.    Training, Nutrition and the Athlete: The Balance

III.   Energy Sources and Energy Systems

       a. Carbohydrates

       b. Proteins

       c. Fats

       d. Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals

       e. Distribution of intake for athletes, recommended daily intakes

       f. Hydration

IV.   Body Weight (Mass) and Body Composition

       a. Issues of body weight and composition

       b. Guidelines for the reduction of excess body fat

       c. Guidelines for lean tissue gain

       d. Myths of fad diets

V.     Eating Disorders and Athletes

VI.    Appropriate Fueling for Performance: The

        Reality of Healthy Nutrition

VII.  Performance Enhancement: “Eat to Compete”

VIII. Nutritional Choices for Athlete Types

        a. Endurance

        b. Strength/power athletes

        c. Team sport athletes

IX.    Nutritional Substances as Ergogenic Aids

        a. Nutritional timing: training and recovery

            1. Nutrient Timing

            2. Pre-competition or workout nutrition

            3. Recovery nutrition

        b. Doping and pharmacologic ergogenics, drug testing and banned substances

X.      Conclusions

XI.    Finding a Sport Nutrition Professional

The completion of this course does not guarantee that the purchaser will pass the SCS examination.