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Posted January 12, 2014
This book is comprehensive in its coverage of nutrition, especially with regards the selection of foods for athletes. As a fifth edition, it tackles many of the questions that arise amidst the many types of diet fads these days. The coverage of diet and exercise is extensive and the author Nancy Clark thoroughly documents the research that supports her recommendations. The book uses a balanced approach to planning healthy meals, with lists of fruits and vegetables and their benefits. It discusses what should be considered when deciding if organic foods are necessary, as well as the importance of calcium and Vitamin D and good sources for lactose tolerant and intolerant people. Also listed are good sources of protein, consideration of the types of fat, sugar, considerations for a sustainable diet pattern when thinking about the cardiovascular system, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cancer, diabetes, and bone health are all touched upon. The book walks through considering your daily routine, especially with regards to meals (frequency and type), and strategies to help you fuel your body evenly throughout the day. The book focuses on many of the concerns specific to athletes, in terms of eating the right foods at the right times to have the energy required for workouts and performance during competitions. It also gives strategies for athletes that are looking to gain weight. The book is helpful in that it considers budget constraints when discussing issues like the need for organic foods (if money is no concern, then the athlete would always choose the foods without pesticides), and the cost of buying protein supplements versus other cheaper and more effective sources of protein. In discussions about loading up on certain types of foods, such as proteins, the book talks about the role of carbohydrates for fueling muscles. The book is almost five hundred pages long, and I am only discussing a small part of it. For instance, there is a whole chapter just on carbohydrates, there are tons of recipes that you can use based on the types of outcomes you want, and there are many chapters for specific types of training concerns and self-assessment in terms areas like body fat. This is a long review, but there is so much material that some topics are not mentioned here. My takeaway is this...
The book is very readable, you can flip to the chapters and topics that you are interested in, the discussion of all the types of foods you have in your diet and their values is encyclopedic, the advice is very, very well documented and there are many pages listing all the references. The book is easy to read, it is well laid out so that you find what you need if you do not want to read the entire book. The book is interesting because it covers many of the fact or fiction rumors that athletes and people on diets hear. Although for athletes, the book provides a good overview of nutrition for anyone considering rebalancing their diet. Enjoy!
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Posted January 27, 2014
I wish I would have had this book ten or even fifteen years ago. It is a great book, and does three things really well.
1) It explains in easy terms the key concepts, diets,, assessment methods, etc. Everything in the book is easy to understand.
2) It gives good details. This is not a thin book, but it is not overwhelming - especially when you search for a topic. It gives you what I think is pretty much the perfect level of detail. It has subsections for different types of people and athletes. For example pregnant women, winter sport athletes, etc. Great way to give specific advice that really helps.
3) Nancy has hit the trifecta with the last point - examples and visual aids. Be it a diagram of a plate, or tables of different recovery nutrients, or great recipes, this book is not just an ivory tower guide, it gives you practical and easy to understand information.
Note - I received this book in exchange for my review, but I loved it so much I have purchased an electronic edition to have on the go, that should tell you how much I love it!
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