Several position statements on nutrition-related topics have been published by leading professional institutions, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), or the International Olympic Committee (IOC). These position statements present succinct reviews of the existing scientific literature and list evidence-based guidelines.

NATA Position Statement on Safe Weight Loss and Maintenance Practices in Sport and Exercise. In 2011, the NATA published a position statement on safe weight loss and weight maintenance strategies for athletes and exercisers. It is known that athletic trainers present an important source of information for athletes. The position paper addresses the primary motives for weight loss and highlights the importance of realistic body weight and body composition goals to attain safe weight loss.

Click HERE for the full position statement.

ACSM Position Stand on Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Together with the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, the ACSM published a joint position statement on how optimal nutrition may improve athletic performance and the recovery from exercise. The position statement addresses the current scientific evidence on energy and nutrient needs and strategies for weight loss and weight gain. The statement further highlights nutrition strategies designed to optimize performance during training and competition and discusses the use of supplements and ergogenic aids by athletes and exercisers.

Click HERE for the full position statement.

ACSM Position Stand on Weight Loss in Wrestlers. Despite being published in 1996, this ACSM position statement addresses important questions for athletes who compete in sports with weight categories. The authors describe potential negative effects of rapid weight loss techniques on athletic performance, health, and growth. Further, the statement calls for strategies to educate coaches and athletes and for regulation changes in order to discourage excessive and unhealthy weight loss.

Click HERE for the full position statement.

ACSM Position Stand on Exercise and Fluid Replacement. In 2007, the ACSM published a position statement on hydration strategies during exercise and physical activity. The importance of appropriate hydration before, during, and after exercise is highlighted in this statement. The position statement provides evidence based recommendations for pre-exercise hydration and strategies to prevent hypohydration during exercise. The statement highlights that exercise-associated fluid and electrolyte losses may vary dramatically between individuals and presents practical strategies to estimate fluid losses during exercise.

Click HERE for the full position statement.

IOC Consensus Statement on Sport Nutrition. The IOC published a brief consensus statement on sports nutrition in 2010. The statement highlights key important nutritional strategies which help athletes to maximize their training and competitive performance and to prevent injuries and illness.

Click HERE for the full consensus statement.

IOC Medical Commisison Recommendations on Body Composition, Health and Performance. The IOC Medical Commission assembled a group experts in the fields of body composition, health, and performance. In their position statement, the group acknowledges that athletes should be discouraged from unrealistically low body weights and emphasizes the need for guidelines to prevent athletes from restrictive eating and the development of eating disorders.

Click HERE for the full position statement.

Website links

The Gatorade Sports Science Institute provides several reviews of the scientific literature on topics related to sport and exercise nutrition. It is noteworthy that all reviews were written by international experts in their respective fields.

Want to find a sports dietitian who is skilled in working with athletes who struggle with food? Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition group (SCAN) are registered dietitians with nutrition expertise in the areas of sports, physical activity, wellness, and the prevention and treatment of disordered eating and eating disorders. Click HERE to find a SCAN dietitian.


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