Sports Nutrition Issues
The International Society of Sports Nutrition outlined important issues in sports nutrition. The article discussed most popular supplements and dietary practices of athletes and is available free online.
Item 1: Most studies examine the effect of supplements on a single bout of exercise. We need more studies on the chronic effect of nutrients on long-term performance and recovery.
Item 2: The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 made it legal to sell food products as supplements without prior authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies must inform the FDA if they introduce new substances in their products. This regulation is widely ignored, which poses a safety problem for athletes.
Item 3: In 2006, the Dietary and Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Act required companies to report adverse effects from their products to the FDA. However, the FDA must prove that a product is unsafe before it can be removed from the market. The trend in the nutrition industry is to develop safe, scientifically based products.
Item 4: Sports nutritionists have a duty to know the scientific literature and avoid being overzealous or biased toward specific products. They have an ethical duty to know whether specific products are legal and safe.
Item 5: Athletes should consume a sufficient amount of calories and the right type of nutrients to maximize adaptations to training. Low-calorie diets reduce muscle mass and strength, suppress the immune system and promote overtraining.
Item 6: Athletes involved in heavy training should consume increased amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. Intensely training athletes need 1.5 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. Consuming protein shortly after exercise promotes recovery and protein synthesis.
Item 7: Creatine monohydrate is the most effective supplement available. It increases muscle mass, strength, recovery from high-intensity exercise, and might prevent injury. (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 7:7, 2010)