Nutritional Requirements for the Pregnant Exerciser and Athlete

  • Maria-Raquel G. SilvaEmail author
  • Belén Rodriguez Doñate
  • Karen Nathaly Che Carballo


The purpose of this chapter is to identify special groups of pregnant exercisers and pregnant athletes such as (1) athletes practicing aesthetic sports, weight competing sports, and sports of long duration, (2) pregnant exerciser women who restrict or prohibit certain dietary practices or the consumption of important sources of energy and nutrients, (3) adolescent pregnant exercisers, and (4) other pregnant exerciser women in high-risk categories. In addition, risk factors as eating disorders or low energy availability related to their energy and nutritional requirements are also included. Micronutrients’ needs increase much more than for macronutrients. Even prior to conception, an increased average intake of folate, iodine, and iron is recommended. However, only in the beginning of the second trimester, a marked increase in vitamins and minerals is observed. A pregnant exerciser or athlete who continues to train during pregnancy may have total energy expenditure quite high; this will depend on the type, intensity, frequency, and duration of the activities performed. Therefore, dietary intakes before, during, and after physical exercise are crucial for the maintenance of adequate energy availability. In addition, some unhealthy behaviors such as the consumption of alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and/or non-nutritive sweeteners and the lack of sleep should be avoided.


Pregnancy Energy needs Nutritional intakes Athletes Exercisers Eating disorders Sleep 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Raquel G. Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Belén Rodriguez Doñate
    • 3
  • Karen Nathaly Che Carballo
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity Fernando PessoaPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Research Centre for Anthropology and HealthUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Tu Gestor de Salud for Nutrition and SportMadridSpain

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