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Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Review: Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Elaine Bothe's picture

We Liked

Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Editionby Monique Ryan is a fairly inclusive encyclopedia of the foods and drinks that should be going into your mouth if you're an endurance athlete, and what they'll do for you. From nutrients in food down to every last vitamin, mineral and electrolyte to diet strategies if you're trying to gain or lose weight, vegetarianism, the digestion process what to eat and when depending on your endurance sport and race fueling strategies and so much more. I'm not sure I can think of anything that has been left out!

I liked that a lot of general questions I had about food, particularly nutrition during training and riding were answered in this book. I learned more about how energy is produced and used in my body, especially during exercise. I've spent a lot of time over this last year researching nutrition and this book has been very helpful.

I also enjoyed reading about the needs of other athletes such as runners, swimmers and triathletes since I'm primarily a cyclist. While other sports are not specifically mentioned, you could extrapolate a little and still benefit from this book if you're a long distance skier, mountain climber or any sport where you're working hard for a long time.

The coverage of special diets and interesting situations was also informative. Athletes who are vegetarians, diabetic, gluten-intolerant, pregnant, kids,older and many others will find helpful information in this book. Nutrition strategies for changing weather conditions, altitude and traveling are also addressed.

We Didn't Like

While Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is very specific in a lot of ways, it's very general in others and it's hard to look up information using the index. And some information I was interested in was simply not there. For example, in researching an article for the benefits of beet juice, I looked up "nitrates" and "beets" in the index and found nothing. Not being sure what type of nutrient nitrates might be, I was hoping to come up with some info but did not.

The book is very thorough, almost to a fault. It's easy for someone without a food science or chemistry background like me to be bogged down in the repetitive details. I wish there were more subtitles and more informative sidebars to help me skim through as I'm looking for specific topics. Prepare to do a lot of math if you're not lucky enough to be the same type of person illustrated in the examples! But, since all athletes are very different, that should be the case anyway.

The Final Say

AddingSports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan to your bookshelf will give you a good book that helpsillustrate a lot the theories behind foods and nutrition strategies so you can work on improving your own diet. This shouldn't be your only book on nutrition, but should be in your collection. I found some important answers to many questions I had but not all of them.

Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is not a cookbook, nor will it give you exactly how many calories you should consume on the bike for a race or hard training ride. This book will help you figure it out on your own, if you're willing to do some math. The science behind nutrition is important to know, and this books helps provide a lot of good information for you to build or refine your own successful program.

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