I've had this book on my shelf for a while, but always passed it by, daunted by the word "advanced" in the title. I guess I un...

Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Bernadot

I've had this book on my shelf for a while, but always passed it by, daunted by the word "advanced" in the title. I guess I underestimated by background in chemistry and the amount of reading I've done about nutrition.

Overall, I found the book to be very informative. If you were hoping for a 'magic bullet' of nutrition, you'll probably be disappointed. Instead, Bernadot talks about common sense nutrition and goes into the how and why behind it.

For example, he emphasizes the need for athletes to have a high carbohydrate diet, explaining how carbohydrates are utilized as energy during exercise, which carbohydrates should be consumed at what times, and how any excess protein is simply converted into carbohydrates plus detrimental waste products.

The points I found most interesting, perhaps because of their relevance, were about weight loss and body composition. Although he seems generally opposed to weight loss in athletes, focusing instead of improved body composition, his approach is very sensible and well-founded.

Primarily, he advocates a balanced calorie deficit/surplus throughout the day, rather than just over a 24-hour period. I've been trying this out for the past week or so, and have been pretty happy so far. It's a bit hard to get in enough calories before/during morning practices, but I've been noticing that my desire to eat an entire jar of peanut butter has decreased.

My biggest bone to pick was the idea--no insistence--that athletes don't eat enough. I've heard this from so many places, and yet it doesn't seem to be an issue with me. I definitely think a lot of athletes eat at the wrong times or eat the wrong foods, but if I eat everything I want to, I gain weight. Of course, he argues that training should make you gain weight--but nowhere close to the amount of weight that I would gain.

As with all nutrition books, I'm taking the advice with a grain of salt (or maybe two, since Bernadot recommends upwards of 10g of sodium a day for athletes). But overall, I think this book is pretty well grounded and definitely geared to the elite athlete (those training twice a day, most days).

You can check out the first 30 or so pages here:

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