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Running head: THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

The Importance of Nutritional Information for Athletes


Manuela Lopez
Madonna University
ESL 4230-Research Proposal (D2)
October 19, 2015

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

The Importance of Nutritional Information for Athletes


Research questions:
Informative paper: What is the nutritional information required by athletes to enhance
athletic performance?
Argumentative paper: Should athletes be more concerned about their eating habits?
Good food choices will not make a mediocre athlete into a champion, but poor food
choices may prevent the potential champion from realizing his/her potential (Maughan &
Shirreffs, 2012, p. 112). I believe when well trained and motivated athletes are competing, the
difference between winning and losing is tight. When everything else involved remains constant,
proper nutrition can determine victory. Athletes should have a diet that contains all the essential
nutrients that are needed to support the intensive preparation training, the competition, and the
recovery process. By doing so the athlete would prevent the outcome of injuries, illnesses and
chronic fatigue. I believe in the importance of nutrition information for athletes and coaches, and
suspect that athletes should follow nutritional diets or prescriptions that are adequate for their
physical conditions and the type of sport that they practice to obtain optimal athletic
performance.
I think that the nutritional information that athletes need is related to the essential macronutrients
(carbohydrates, proteins and fats) that they should intake through their nutritional habits.
Hopefully, my research will encourage the schools to provide nutritional education programs for
athletes, coaches and athletic trainers and to review the dinning services available for them.
Being a student athlete that lives in the university dormitory, opportunities to prepare
my own food are scarce. Student athletes have to eat whatever food is offered in the dining
services or the places where our teams stop to eat in their way to tournaments. I have the
experience of having played a golf round after having a proper meal and have felt the energy and

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

good mental concentration that it provided me. But also I have suffered the fatigue and lack of
energy that a poor snack provided during the game. Through my research, I will learn about the
required basic nutritional knowledge and nutritional habits that athletes must have to satisfy their
nutritional needs in a proper way to enhance athletic performance and I will be able to share this
information with all the athletes and coaches for my school athletic program.
In the informative paper I propose the question: What is the nutritional information
required by athletes to enhance athletic performance? While searching for papers in the library
databases I discovered that macronutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates are the key factors
involved in a proper athlete nutrition program. I had an idea about the importance of
macronutrients in athletes diets but, with some reading I learned that their quantities must vary
according to the type of sport that is practiced and the athletes individual physical conditions. As
described by Maughan and Shirrefs (2012), At the elite level in sport, it is not acceptable any
more to make generic prescriptions. A strategy must be devised to take account of each athletes
physiological and biochemical characteristics as well as the training load and competition goals
(p. 113). I plan to begin my paper describing each one of the macronutrients, their function and
importance. Then, I will describe the type of exercises that exists and the relationship between
them and the proper nutrient intake required in their practice. According to Arciero et al. (2015),
to succeed in a competitive sport an appropriate amount, type, and timing of exercise training
along
with the proper nutrient intake is required (p. 1). With this paper I intend to improve athletes`
nutritional awareness and habits, making a theoretical proposal of what, how and when to eat
according with the type of exercise used to train (resistance, interval sprints, stretching and
endurance) in varsity sports. I will support my proposal with a table showing the type of nutrient

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

needed for every type of exercise per time of practice and the best time of nutrients intake
(before,
during or after exercise).
For my argumentative paper, I formulated the research question: Should athletes be more
concerned about their eating habits? I have noticed that young athletes are very concerned about
technical aspects and physical conditions but not so much about their nutrition practice. This
empirical observation is consistent with the findings of Pasalic, A; Jusupovic, F; Obradovic, Z; &
Mahmutovic, J. (2012) who pointed out that young sportsmen had lower level of awareness in
the
field of proper nutrition than older ones and therefore had bad nutritional habits (p. 58). This
behavior could be supported by a counter argument that describes no significant correlation
between nutrition practice, and athletic performance (Oloyemisi, Abiola & Rasaki, 2015, p. 223).
In this paper the correlation was found negative because there was not much energy requirement
on the athletic performance task. With my paper I want to acknowledge that nutrition plays a role
in achieving the needed level of body mass, supporting the nutrients required in the training
programs, and in the acute stage of the competition allows the athletes to be fueled and hydrated
during the activity positively affecting performance (Mujika & Burke, 2011, p. 26).
I am very excited with my research; it is related to my daily life and my future because I
wish to become a sport nutritionist after my graduation. This research will give me the
knowledge
to have good nutritional habits, will help to enhance my athletic performance and will give me
the
facts needed to encourage my team mates and other athletes in my school to be more concerned
about their nutritional practice. This research will improve my awareness about the nutrition
requirements for a variety of sports. By reading my paper, athletes will have better information
of

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

what nutrient is required for what sport, in what quantity for period of time, and when it should
be
eaten to make better use of them obtaining the best possible output. The reader of my paper will
be more aware of the importance of proper nutrition in sports. I am convinced that this research
will make me a better athlete and a better professional in the future.

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

References
Arciero, P.J; Miller, V.J; & Ward, E. (2015). Performance enhancing diets and PRISE protocol to
optimize athletic performance. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 1-39,
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/715859
Maughan, R. J; & Shirreffs, S.M. (2012). Nutrition for sports performance: Issues and
opportunities. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71(1), 112-119.
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0029665111003211
Mujika, I. & Burke, L.M. (2011). Nutrition in team sports. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism,
57, 26-35. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000322700
Oloyemisi, F.F; Abiola, A.A; & Rasaki, A.S. (2015). Does nutrition knowledge and practice of
athletes translate enhanced athletic performance? Cross-sectional study amongst Nigerian
undergraduate athletes. Global Journal of Health Science, 7(5), 215-225.
Pasalic, A; Jusupovic, F; Obradovic, Z; & Mahmutovic, J. (2012). Nutritional awareness and
habits of premier league sportsmen in the Sarajevo Canton. Journal of Health Sciences,
2(1), 54-60.