by Pratik Patel, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS
NSCA Coach April 2019
Vol 4, Issue 5
Nutrition plays a crucial role in athletic performance. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the amount of published research related to sports performance and nutrition. This body of evidence supports and adds to the credibility of nutrition being a dynamic area of practice in the sports performance equation. Its application for athletes and to team sports such as American football have been shown to provide numerous benefits. A sound, individualized nutrition plan can improve training adaptations (14,25), help prevent injuries (26), expedite recovery from injuries and illnesses (30), improve performance (14,17,33), and help prolong health (2,31). In recent years, a growing number of NFL teams and colleges have realized a sports nutrition program or department can be an integral part of their player performance team.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the landscape of nutrition in collegiate and professional football. It will address the following areas: 1) the current landscape, 2) current practices, 3) opportunities, and 4) challenges faced in collegiate and professional football.
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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