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Sports Nutrition: Eating for Peak Performance

By UW Health, 01/31/19, 12:00PM CST

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Without adequate calories from the healthiest food sources, you will struggle to achieve your performance goals. 

Food Energy

The energy needs of athletes exceed those of the average person. It’s not uncommon for male and female athletes, especially those still growing, to have caloric needs exceeding 2,400-3,000 kcal and 2,200-2,700 kcal per day, respectively. The amount of energy found within a given food is dependent on the macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein and fat) content of the item.

  • Carbohydrates serve as the primary source of energy during activities of higher intensity. Healthy carbohydrate food sources include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, breads and pastas.