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Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet as it relates to athletic performance. It is concerned with the type and quantity of fluid and food taken by an athlete, and deals with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Although an important part of many sports training regimens, it is most commonly considered in strength sports (such as weight lifting and bodybuilding) and endurance sports (for example cycling, running, triathlon).Sports and running are important for a healthy lifestyle.

From the time when the ancient Greeks and Romans started the Olympic games, the athletes had their own special regimen for great performance which included diet and nutrition. Alcohol was commonly drunk as an ergogenic aid to increase performance in the Olympics through the early 1900s.

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The view of sports nutrition today has much evolved from the ancient Olympic gladiators’ meal plan. Scientists are continually interested in learning more about this abiding subject. Research shows that the coupling of exercise and proper diet is what produces a healthy lifestyle that can maintain the “prevention/management of chronic diseases such as] noninsulin-independent diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, mental health, colon cancers, stroke and back injury.” 65% of Americans exercised regularly by working out, playing sports, and/or other physical activities, thus the importance of proper nutrition is of great interest to athletes and exercisers for optimal performance and long term benefits.

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In addition to diet, social and cultural influences, lifestyle habits, motivation and training determine successful athletic performance. However, without proper nutrition, the full potential of the athlete will not be realized, because performance will not be at its peak, training levels may not be sustained, recovery from injury will be slower, and the athlete may become more susceptible to injury and infection. Understanding sports nutrition leads to optimal athletic performance and lifetime health benefits and can thus be evaluated by the intake of certain nutrients and supplements when exercising, by learning the way the body utilizes these materials and how these practices complement future diet and exercise of the individual.


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