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Nutritional demands of an athlete undertaking a sporting event Nursing Essay

Purpose: To undertake a case study review of an athlete undertaking a sporting event and compare their nutrition plans with current sports nutrition guidelines. This assignment does not require you to provide an individualised nutrition plan for the athlete as this is the role of the Sports Dietitian. Background: To achieve optimal performance in training and competition, athletes should have a sound nutrition plan based on sports nutrition guidelines. Most athletes recognise the importance of sports nutrition for performance and many have some insight into the broad nutrition requirements for sport. However, few athletes have a good understanding of their unique competition day nutrition needs and as a result their nutrition plans may not align with sports nutrition recommendations specific to their sport and/or individual situation. Task: Select an athlete participating in an upcoming sporting event (who is not studying in this unit) and prepare a report that covers each of the topics below. The person selected does not need to be an elite or highly competitive athlete and can be from any type of sport (e.g., endurance, team sport, etc.). Athlete Background Provide a detailed description of the athlete’s: • General background: o Physical characteristics (height and weight plus any body composition assessments that they may have had – e.g., sum of skinfolds, DXA) o Medical considerations (e.g., diabetes, coeliac disease) o Dietary restrictions (e.g. vegetarian) o Training history Event Details Provide a detailed description of: • The overall event (e.g., event distance, duration, start time) • Opportunities for nutrition intake during the event (e.g., half-time break, aid stations, self-sufficient carriage of nutrition supplies) • Anticipated weather conditions for the event • The athlete’s goals for the event (e.g., do they have a goal finishing time) Nutrition Plans Provide a detailed description of what the athlete proposes as their: • Proposed nutrition plan for the: o Day before the event o Day of the event o During the event o Recovery over the 4-6 hours post event • Proposed fluid plan for the: o Day before the event o Day of the event o During the event o Recovery over the 4-6 hours post event Current sports nutrition recommendations • Outline the current sports nutrition recommendations (fuelling, hydration, recovery) for the event in which your athlete is participating. • Compare your athlete’s proposed nutrition plan with these recommendations and highlight where there are discrepancies between the recommendations and athlete’s plan. Sports supplements • Identify two legal sports supplements (ergogenic aids or sports foods) that may enhance your athlete’s performance for this event, and provide your rationale for this decision. This should include an outline of the guidelines for the use of these supplements with respect to the athlete’s chosen event.

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