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“I am strict about being healthy. I have to thank my diet for that. I don’t enjoy feeding my body with junk food. Eating healthy helps me stay energized, pain free and injury free.”

Novak Djokovic

Tennis No 1



Sports nutrition remains one of the most important aspects of sport science that affect both active and former athletes. We are in a stage where nutrition has become increasingly scientific and specialised.


In active elite athletes proper nutrition plays an important role in optimising performance during training and competition, as well as maintaining their overall health throughout the season. Athlete nutrition plans must take in consideration: sport discipline, event performance goals, and individual food preferences.


In elite athletes adequate nutrition can increase performance and muscle recovery, as well as reduce illness and injury risk. Most leading athletes now follow personalised nutrition plans for training days, including pre- and post-training meals, and competition days.


Nutrition also plays an important role in retired former elite athletes going through the transitioning period into a more sedentary life. Most of these athletes lack an understanding of their nutritional needs outside elite sports. These sportsmen and women have to learn how to eat again. The scientific literature on nutrition for this unique population is still limited.


For this reason we decided to present the first targeted topic on Sports Nutrition. We would like to highlight the modern approach to Sports Nutrition. I have, therefore, asked the well-respected scientists in Aspetar, Daniel Kings, Director of Clinical Projects and Head of Scientific Support, and Marco Cardinale PhD, Director of Research and Scientific Support, to guest edit this issue. They have assembled a great team of authors from all corners of the globe, offering scientific and practical insights on sports nutrition.


Some coaches within elite sports complain that their voices are not heard in the scientific community when the best practice guidelines for nutrition protocols are developed. For this reason we interviewed Roberto Martinez, one of the most influential football managers in the world, who has guided Belgium to become the number one FIFA ranked team, to share his thoughts and observations with our readers.


Our Guest Editors Daniel Kings and Marco Cardinale did a great job. I would like to thank them sincerely for their time and hard work. I would like to thank all authors for their valuable contribution to this wonderful targeted topic issue on Sports Nutrition and I hope that you enjoy reading it.


Nebojsa Popovic MD PhD


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From the Editor

Volume 10
Targeted Topic - Sports Nutrition
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