The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

Can an athlete get all their nutritional requirements from food?

Yes, this is certainly possible. An athlete is more likely to achieve this by eating a diet that is balanced (and does not cut out food groups) and by being organised. Relying on convenience foods or skipping meals and snacks will make it more difficult to meet nutritional requirements.


Yes, provided they eat a well-balanced diet including all the different food groups (fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat and/or meat alternatives, starches and healthy fats) and match their energy intake with their training load (i.e. provided they eat enough food for the amount of exercise they do).


The single most important dietary component in any athletes’ diet is their energy intake. Energy can be obtained from various nutrients that are embedded in the food we eat. It makes sense than that, if an athlete eats MORE food, but also includes a VARIETY of food sources from all the different food groups; he/she can totally fulfil all their nutritional requirements through a balanced, varied diet.

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Authors
Elsabe Janse van Noordwyk
Elsabe Janse van Noordwyk

Registered Physiotherapist
BSc Physiotherapy (UFS)
Private Practice Little Company of Mary, Pretoria

Lize Havemann-Nel
Lize Havemann-Nel

Registered dietitian, Senior Lecturer
School for Physiology, Nutrition and Consumer Science
North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

Nicki de Villiers
Nicki de Villiers

Registered Dietitian
BDietetics (UP)
Postgrad Dipl Hosp Dietetics (UP)
Postgrad Dipl Sport Nutr (IOC)
Private practise: HPC – University of Pretoria

Pippa Mullins
Pippa Mullins

Registered dietitian
BSc DIET; PG DIP DIET (UN);
PG DIP Sports Nutr (IOC)
Practice: MME Dietitians