• A. Parisi
  • A. Giombini


Training as well as physical and technical abilities are fundamental for the high-level athlete, but of equal importance is adequate and proper nutrition. While intake of the correct proportion of carbohydrate, proteins, lipids, and fluid is essential, so are dietary strategies related to timing of intake, type of nutrient, its source, and the need to add other nutrients, as these considerations will optimize the performance capacity of the athlete.

A normal diet, if balanced, is sufficient for the athlete although it may sometimes (short recovery period, adverse environmental conditions, etc.) be necessary to add supplements or ergogenic aids to improve athletic performance. The most commonly consumed ergogenic products are: creatine, β-hydroxy-β-methybutyrate, proteins and amino acids, pyruvate, caffeine, carnitine, and bicarbonate. Although legal, these products need a medical prescription in order to avoid performance withdrawal symptoms, atopic reactions, side effects, overdosage, and organ damage. Supplements have a particularly important role in the diets of athletes who are vegetarians, especially female athletes. The exact composition of these supplements will depend upon the specific type of vegetarian diet.


Protein Hydrolysate Branch Chain Amino Acid Muscle Glycogen Creatine Supplementation Vegetarian Diet 


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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Parisi
  • A. Giombini

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