Principles and objectives of sports nutrition

Sports nutrition is regarded as the application of  nutrition in order to improve sporting performance, whilst also maintaining optimal health, sufficient recovery and adequate stimulus adaptation to training. Ensuring that sports nutrition is applied effectively is critical for allowing the athlete to train and perform to their best ability. The higher the level of sporting performance, the more the small marginal gains play a huge role in determining who will be victorious. Therefore, it can be said that the worlds best performers have their sports nutrition optimised to ensure they can perform at the highest level constantly. To ensure this, there are some principles and objectives that must be addressed. These are discussed below.

Principles of sports nutrition

Energy intake

To optimise athletic performance, its essential to be consuming enough nutrients to main a good energy balance. This is important for maintaining body composition and functioning

Balance of macronutrients

Ensuring the correct breakdown of each macronutrient as well as in the correct quantities is vital to enhance sporting performance. Its critical these recommendations are individualised


Maintaining an adequate level of hydration, known as euhydration, its vital for thermoregulation, muscle functioning and preventing heat related conditions, like cramps and heat stroke

objectives of sports nutrition​

Training plan

Its important to develop an adequate training plan to allow the athlete to thrive in training, optimise adaptations and promote recovery. Its vital that this diet is adaptable and can be easily manipulated to give flexibility to the athlete in regards to changes to match training load, changes in body composition or diet preferences.

Competition diet

Using the training plan as a guide, a separate competition guide should be developed, assessed and adapted before each individual competition. This is important as there are many aspects that may influence the demands of each competition. However, if the competition is similar each time, it's sustainable to use the same competition plan multiple times.