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From The CriticsReviewer: Allison Maurer, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)
Description: This book on the basics of sports nutrition (carbohydrates, protein, fat, etc.) also covers the needs of specific sports and individuals.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate sports nutrition professionals, or those looking to enter the field, on the basics of sport nutrition education for all different types of sports and athletes from team sports to individual sports and recreational athletes to professionals. The aim is to give people the tools they need to properly educate themselves and use research-based information. These are very worthy objectives in an up-and-coming field that changes every day.
Audience: It is written for individuals interested in studying sports nutrition or those looking to improve their athletic performance through nutrition, but it also can be useful to entry-level registered dietitians looking to get more experience in sports nutrition.
Features: The book covers a wide range of topics, and the authors have done a good job focusing on what is really important in improving performance using nutrition. It is impossible to avoid covering the basics of nutrition (carbohydrates, protein and fat), but the authors use charts and pictures to change things up a little from other sports nutrition books. There is a whole chapter on supplementation and doping, essential topics these days. Macronutrients are particularly well covered as are the different nutrition needs of many different types of sports. The most unique feature is the access to a companion website, which is a wonderful tool that provides students many different ways to learn and understand sports nutrition. I also like the case studies at the end of the book and throughout the chapters. The only shortcoming is that it is so directly targeted at those interested in working in sports nutrition. The authors could have cut the chapter on jobs in sports nutrition to broaden its appeal.
Assessment: I enjoyed this book. As a professor of an undergraduate sports nutrition class, I can see using certain parts of this book. (I don't see how I could use the whole book as my class is meant specifically for athletes, not those looking to get into the profession.) The companion website is very useful and adds a lot of educational value. The book is scientifically based, yet makes it easy to understand and apply the concepts. The case studies are a great way to get students to think critically. Any book about sports nutrition should be regularly updated as the field changes almost on a daily basis. This book can give students a complete picture of sports nutrition and how dynamic it is.