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The British Nutrition Foundation. 38 pp. ISBN 0907667171
According to the back cover of this booklet, The British Nutrition Foundation promotes the nutritional wellbeing of society by interpreting and disseminating scientifically based knowledge and advice. Here they tackle the science and practice of sports nutrition, acknowledging that although the information is underpinned by rigorous research in exercise physiology and metabolism, it must be interpreted in the light of the practical issues that determine eating and drinking strategies for sport. It is hard to prepare a comprehensive and accessible overview of such a wide topic in 38 pages, but this paper manages to achieve this with the aid of numerous tables and figures, a series of summary points at the end of each section, and an extensive bibliography. Topics covered in the paper include energy metabolism in exercise, dietary carbohydrate needs, fat and protein requirements, iron and calcium in sport, water and electrolyte balance, ergogenic aids, the female athlete, the young athlete, and practical issues in sports nutrition. The briefing paper concludes with useful addresses for agencies involved in sports nutrition or sports science in the United Kingdom.
No doubt, the value of this paper is due to the involvement of Professors Ron Maughan (Aberdeen) and Clyde Williams (Loughborough); these men have been at the forefront of basic and applied sports nutrition research for many decades, and have been prolific in the development of opportunities and resources for sports nutrition education. If a country's sporting prowess was determined by the achievements of its sports scientists, Great Britain would be unbeatable. It is lucky that resources such as this briefing paper are available to coaches, athletes, and teachers world wide.
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