Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Nutritional Requirements; Sports


Science has broken down many of the barriers that once kept athletes from performing at their very best. This has been done through the scientific study of athletes and the development of a combination of proper training, technique, mental attitude, and nutrition. While training and technique are variables that come with time and practice, proper nutrition can produce positive changes in an athlete's performance in a relatively short period of time. Eating the right kinds of foods, in the right proportions, for a given type of athletic event (Le. aerobic, anaerobic, strength, and muscular definition) can provide an athlete the boost he or she needs to get to the next level of performance.

Athletic nutrition has been looked at as a "Cookbook" process in which the goals of the individual are overlooked or disregarded. Some clinical nutritionists believe that the Recommended Daily Allowance still covers the athletes' daily nutritional requirements. The need for increased amounts of all nutrients are not seen to be necessary, despite the differing demands of occupation or increased demands of training for athletes. Yet, science has proven this to be wrong. Studies have shown that the nutritional needs of the working man and woman, not to mention athletes, are not satisfied by the Recommended Daily Allowance. The idea that the Recommended Daily Allowance is adequate for athletes has been perpetuated by big business and some health and sports organizations for many years.

The purpose of this literature review is to compile information that is currently available and provide a resource manual for clinicians. This review will discuss nutrient requirements for protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. The review will go further and discuss the role that supplements and sleep play in the athlete's diet.