Whenever highly talented, motivated and well trained athletes meet in competition, the margin between victory and defeat is minor (Maughan and Burke, 2011). This has encouraged sports scientists in recent years to look into effective methods in order to gain a competitive edge. One of these ways is through sports nutrition (Jeukendrup and Gleeson, 2004).Sports nutrition has been defined by as the total of the processes of ingestion, digestion, absorption and metabolism of food and the subsequent adaptation of nutrients that influences athletic performance (Jeukendrup and Glesson, 2004).
Good sports nutrition can have a wide range of benefits for all athletes in the long and short term (Burke, 2007). Some of the benefits and reasons for good sports nutrition include improving energy stores, replacing substances lost in sweat, aiding recovery, building muscle, and enhancing general health and functioning of bodily processes (Hatfield, 1987). It is especially important that an athlete understands and is educated about nutrition, therefore helping an athlete avoid problems such as dehydration and low energy levels when competing (Hayes and Laudan, 2009). Nonetheless, when working with athletes from various sports, it is important to remember that many sports have different needs and that there is not one “right” diet for all athletes (Baechle and Earle, 2008).
This paper will examine the dietary analysis of an endurance road cyclist and draw conclusions on the suitability of the current diet based upon previous research and underpinning theory of endurance based athletes. Additionally, this paper will suggest recommendations to the diet that would be of benefit in order to improve sporting performance further.
The athlete observed within this dietary analysis is a 25 year old female, who weighs 53kg and has a height of 165 cm. The athlete is a long distance road cyclist who trains three times a week covering around 50 miles each...