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Analysis of “Fad Diets” and Alternatives for Optimal Athletic Performance

by Amanda Poppleton, RD
NSCA Coach June 2017
Vol 3, Issue 3

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Not all diets are appropriate for every population and this is especially true of an athlete who is expected to train and perform at a high level. Learn about the negatives of fad diets, potential pitfalls, and realistic dietary guidelines for athletes.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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References

1. American College of Sports Medicine, Sawka, MN, Burke, LM, Eichner, ER, Maughan, RJ, Montain, SJ, and Stachenfeld, NS. American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 39(2): 377-390, 2007. 
2. Bier, DM, Brosnan, JT, Flatt, JP, Hanson, RW, Heird, W, Hellerstein, MK, et al. Report of the IDECG Working Group on lower and upper limits of carbohydrate and fat intake. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 53(suppl): S177-178, 1995. 
3. Canadian Medical Association. Intermittent fasting: The next big weight loss fad. Canadian Medical Association Journal 185(8): E321-E322, 2013. 
4. Escott-Stump, S. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care (7th ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2012.
5. Maughan, RJ. Fasting and sport: An introduction. British Journal of Sports Medicine 44(7): 473-474, 2010. 
6. McArdle, WD, Katch, FI, and Katch VL. Sports and Exercise Nutrition (3rd ed.) Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins; 2009. 
7. Pitt, CE. Cutting through the Paleo hype: The evidence for the Paleolithic diet. Australian Family Physician 45(1-2): 2016. 
8. Position of Dietitians of Canada, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American College of Sports Medicine. Nutrition and Athletic Performance: 501-528, 2016. 
9. Saltzman, E, Thomason, P, and Roberts, SB. Fad diets: A review for the primary care provider. Nutrition in Clinical Care 4(5): 235-242, 2001.

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About the author

Amanda Poppleton, RD

Amanda Poppleton joined the North Carolina State University Athletics Department staff in July of 2014. Her title is the Assistant Director of Sports ...

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