Nutrition for special populations: Young, female, and masters athletes

Ben Desbrow, Mark Tarnopolsky, Nicholas A. Burd, Daniel R. Moore, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescent, female, and masters athletes have unique nutritional requirements as a consequence of undertaking daily training and competition in addition to the specific demands of age- and gender-related physiological changes. Dietary education and recommendations for these special population athletes require a focus on eating for long-term health, with special consideration given to “at-risk” dietary patterns and nutrients (e.g., sustained restricted eating, low calcium, vitamin D and/or iron intakes relative to requirements). Recent research highlighting strategies to address age-related changes in protein metabolism and the development of tools to assist in the management of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport are of particular relevance to special population athletes. Whenever possible, special population athletes should be encouraged to meet their nutrient needs by the consumption of whole foods rather than supplements. The recommendation of dietary supplements (particularly to young athletes) overemphasizes their ability to manipulate performance in comparison with other training/dietary strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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