Eating properly to fuel the body sounds easy, but can be challenging for many people, especially adolescent girls and young women. An energy deficit, or not taking in enough calories, affects hormones, bone density, and consequently, athletic performance. It is necessary for an athlete to eat a varied, balanced diet with proper amounts of carbohydrates, protein, fat, iron, calcium, and vitamin D in order to perform and keep her body healthy. Carbohydrates should form the foundation of any diet, especially an athlete’s diet, in order to provide enough stored energy (i.e., glycogen). Dehydration can also have adverse effects on an athlete’s performance. Therefore, it is imperative that an athlete eat enough calories, focus on carbohydrates for energy, and maintain adequate hydration status.
- 4.Rosenbloom C. Sports nutrition: a practice manual for professionals. 5th ed. Chicago: American Dietetic Association; 2012.Google Scholar
- 5.Dunford M. Fundamentals of sport and exercise nutrition. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 2010.Google Scholar
- 6.Clark N. Nancy Clark’s sports nutrition guidebook. 5th ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 2013.Google Scholar
- 7.National Research Council. Dietary reference intakes: the essential guide to nutrient requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.Google Scholar
- 9.Calvo MS, Whiting SJ, Barton CN. Vitamin D fortification in the United States and Canada: current status and data needs. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;80(6):17105–65.Google Scholar