How Your Nutrition Affects Your Athletic Ability

Good nutrition can enhance your athletic performance. A well-balanced diet should include vitamins, minerals, and enough protein to promote muscle growth and repair. Peak Physical Therapy in Norwell recommends having carbohydrates to provide energy during exercise. The ideal diet for an athlete is not much different than the typical recommended healthy diet of more than 55 percent from carbohydrates, about 12 to 15 percent from protein, and less than 30 percent from fat. The main differences for athletes are determined based on the type of sport, amount of training, and amount of time spent during the sport and training. 


Athletes who exercise strenuously for more than 60 to 90 minutes every day may need to increase the amount of energy they get from carbohydrates to between 65 and 70 percent. There are two types of carbohydrates, complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as pasta, bagels, whole-grain bread, and rice. They provide energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These foods are low in fat. Simple sugars, such as soft drinks, jams and jellies, and candy provide a lot of calories, but they do not provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Peak Physical Therapy in Norwell recommends eating carbohydrates before you exercise if you will be exercising for more than 1 hour such as a glass of fruit juice, a cup of yogurt, or an English muffin with jelly. Limit the amount of fat you consume in the hour before an athletic event. After exercising, carbohydrates should be consumed to rebuild the stores of energy in your muscles from working out heavily. People who exercise or train for more than 90 minutes should eat or drink more carbohydrates, possibly with protein, 2 hours later such as a sports bar, trail mix with nuts, or yogurt and granola. For workouts lasting less than 60 minutes, water is most often all that is needed.


Protein is vital for recovery and is accompanied by a high-carbohydrate diet. Athletes are recommended to have slightly higher amounts of protein than the general public. The general public, meaning active people, consume around 45 to 60 grams of protein daily. An athlete in non-endurance sports consumes around 50 to 65 grams of protein daily. Peak Physical Therapy in Norwell recommends athletes involved in endurance sports to consume about 65 to 80 grams of protein daily. Dietary surveys have found that most athletic groups comfortably reach and often exceed their protein requirements by consuming a high-energy diet. Protein supplements are therefore unlikely to improve your sporting performance.

Peak Physical Therapy

Our South Shore Physical Therapy practice specializes in physical therapy including many specialty programs including return-to-sports, vestibular, pelvic health, post-concussion, aquatics, and more. Locations include Norwell, MA, Scituate, MA, Quincy, MA, Hanover, MA, Pembroke, MA, and Braintree, MA. Our specialized programs combined with state-of-the-art facilities allow us to meet the unique needs of our local patients and achieve the fastest results. If you are unsure whether this type of treatment can help you, we offer a no-obligation FREE injury screening. Click here for more information.


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Norwell, MA
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Hanover, MA
Braintree, MA
Pembroke, MA


Hanover, MA
  • Healthtrax Health Club
  • 20 East St.
  • Hanover, MA 02339
  • Phone/Text: 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
  • Scituate Health and Racquet Club
  • 1004 Chief Justice Cushing Hwy
  • Scituate, MA 02066
  • Phone/Text: 781-378-2352
Weymouth, MA
  • Weymouth Club
  • 75 Finnell Drive
  • Weymouth, MA 02188
  • Phone/Text: 781-986-0990


Norwell, MA
  • Women's Health
  • 99 Longwater Circle
  • Suite 203
  • Norwell, MA 02061
  • Phone/Text 781-347-4686
Scituate, MA
Quincy, MA
Braintree, MA