Nutrition as a Risk Factor for Injury in Elite Athletes

During the past two decades there have been scientific breakthroughs in understanding the role human metabolism plays in exercise, physical performance and athletic injuries. Studies have shown that specific forms of dietary behaviors may potentially be linked to health benefits or problems and their association to athletic performance. The field of sports nutrition has indicated that athletes have greater demands for macro and micronutrients than inactive humans. These findings have dictated the dietary recommendations of individuals participating in sports. This innovative and intergraded science has shifted from practical studies investigating the effects of dietary restrictions and supplementation, to the direct investigation of the biochemical basis of specific nutritional demands for elite performance and injury mechanics. This review chapter is based on sports nutrition and its association with sports injuries. Various topics of the nutritional demands of exercise are reviewed in their biochemical and metabolic relationships to athletic performance.

As sport induced injuries are on the rise, sports medicine specialists and sports nutritionists have been trying to determine how nutrition is related to injury. On the contrary, many exercise physiologists believe “fuel is fuel” and it doesn’t matter what comes in. As human performance becomes more advanced and elite athletes are becoming more dependent on their team nutritionist, it is becoming evident that proper nutrition is essential for proper performance during practice and competition. Specific nutrients are critically important for enhancing the quality of performance, conditioning, practice time, recovery from fatigue, and avoiding sports induced injuries. For an athlete, improving biomechanical performance and avoiding the disturbance of homeostasis by strenuous demands by their specific sport is crucial. Since athletes require more nutrients than the recommended daily allowances (RDAs), it is important that they not only eat a well-balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals, but meet the nutritional demands and supplementation required before and after rigorous exercise.


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Female Athlete Rest Metabolic Rate Elite Athlete Athletic Performance 
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