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Efficacy of popular diets applied by endurance athletes on sports performance: beneficial or detrimental? A narrative review


Devrim-Lanpir, Aslı; Hill, Lee; Knechtle, Beat (2021). Efficacy of popular diets applied by endurance athletes on sports performance: beneficial or detrimental? A narrative review. Nutrients, 13(2):491.

Abstract

Endurance athletes need a regular and well-detailed nutrition program in order to fill their energy stores before training/racing, to provide nutritional support that will allow them to endure the harsh conditions during training/race, and to provide effective recovery after training/racing. Since exercise-related gastrointestinal symptoms can significantly affect performance, they also need to develop strategies to address these issues. All these factors force endurance athletes to constantly seek a better nutritional strategy. Therefore, several new dietary approaches have gained interest among endurance athletes in recent decades. This review provides a current perspective to five popular diet approaches: (a) vegetarian diets, (b) high-fat diets, (c) intermittent fasting diets, (d) gluten-free diet, and (e) low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) diets. We reviewed scientific studies published from 1983 to January 2021 investigating the impact of these popular diets on the endurance performance and health aspects of endurance athletes. We also discuss all the beneficial and harmful aspects of these diets, and offer key suggestions for endurance athletes to consider when following these diets.

Abstract

Endurance athletes need a regular and well-detailed nutrition program in order to fill their energy stores before training/racing, to provide nutritional support that will allow them to endure the harsh conditions during training/race, and to provide effective recovery after training/racing. Since exercise-related gastrointestinal symptoms can significantly affect performance, they also need to develop strategies to address these issues. All these factors force endurance athletes to constantly seek a better nutritional strategy. Therefore, several new dietary approaches have gained interest among endurance athletes in recent decades. This review provides a current perspective to five popular diet approaches: (a) vegetarian diets, (b) high-fat diets, (c) intermittent fasting diets, (d) gluten-free diet, and (e) low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) diets. We reviewed scientific studies published from 1983 to January 2021 investigating the impact of these popular diets on the endurance performance and health aspects of endurance athletes. We also discuss all the beneficial and harmful aspects of these diets, and offer key suggestions for endurance athletes to consider when following these diets.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Food Science
Health Sciences > Nutrition and Dietetics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Food Science
Language:English
Date:2 February 2021
Deposited On:19 Feb 2021 16:07
Last Modified:28 Feb 2021 19:04
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2072-6643
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020491

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