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Over the past decade, the field of sports nutrition has grown substantially. With the improved quantity and quality of sports nutrition research, increased attention to nutrition among recreational and professional athletes alike, and a blossoming interest in the field among college students, sports nutrition programs in universities and colleges across the United States have expanded significantly. At the same time, the demand for a comprehensive, up-to-date, and practical sports nutrition resource for non-nutrition majors has grown.

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This text, Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals, merges the basic principles and latest evidence-based knowledge and scientific understanding of sports nutrition with real-world practical applications and examples that health professional students must master to help their current and future clients to optimize athletic performance and overall satisfaction and success with sports and physical activity. Chapters are intended to be practical and application-based while still including all of the essential background and scientific information a student needs to fully understand the field of sports nutrition. While the text incorporates topic areas included in the content outline for registered dietitians who are board-certified specialists in sports dietetics (CSSD), the text is geared toward allied health professionals working with a diverse population of active individuals.

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The information and tools contained in this text serve as a resource to those professionals working with elite and recreational athletes, fit and active non-athletes, and the newly active population. The major objective of this text is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of sports nutrition in a format that is easy to digest, recall, and apply. To meet this objective, the text includes the following features:

  • The stories of six clients— a professional triathlete, a recreational bodybuilder, a high school basketball player, a marathon runner, an active octogenarian, and an overweight middle-aged woman training to hike the Grand Canyon—are weaved throughout the text. These six sample clients are used to illustrate major principles and take-home points contained within the text. The sample clients are evaluated by a variety of health professionals and undergo a series of assessments and self-administered tests to evaluate and optimize their nutritional status. Readers are given access to these assessments and tests and are encouraged to use them to evaluate their own nutritional status.

  • Speed Bumps—or review questions highlighting the major points of the preceding several paragraphs—to help students stop and comprehend what they just read.

  • A Key Points Summary at the end of each chapter that distills the main learning points from the chapter into a succinct list of critical take-home points.

  • Ten multiple choice questions that assess the student’s comprehension of the chapter’s main points.

  • Communication Strategies boxes, in which students practice taking the information they’ve just learned and effectively sharing it with clients, colleagues, and the general public.

  • Evaluating the Evidence boxes, in which students learn to think critically to understand, interpret, and use the results of peer-reviewed research studies.

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Sports Nutrition for Health Professionals promises to serve as a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read and practical textbook for allied health professional students interested in sports nutrition. Ultimately, after completing a sports nutrition course based upon this textbook, students not only will understand the physiological basis of sports nutrition, but also will be able to clearly articulate how to apply the physiology to real-life situations and interactions with their clients.

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