ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Books on Fitness Nutrition

Updated on May 16, 2012

Eating the right foods in the right proportions at the right times is key to maintaining fitness for daily life as well as to achieving optimum performance in competitive sports requiring power, endurance or both. Depending on your age, gender, and fitness goal, your nutritional needs will vary. Here are my picks for the five best books on fitness nutrition that will suit the gamut of active people whether high-performance competitive professionals, youth athletes, or recreational participants.

Advanced Sports Nutrition

1. Benardot, Dan. Advanced Sports Nutrition.

This encyclopedic reference is a go-to source that deals specifically with high performance athletes. It is based on current scientific nutritional research, explaining in clear, factual language the nutritional sources: carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, mineral, fluids and electolytes. Benardot discusses how factors such as travel, high altitude, gender and age, and body composition and weight also affect nutritional needs. The book outlines strategies for specific metabolic systems that will support high intensity bursts and power for sprinters, endurance for marathoners, and power as well as endurance for athletes such as skaters, basketball players, golfers, and tennis players. The final part of the book gives nutrition plans, recipes, and training schedules for specific sports that will guide meal plans for competitors in the weeks leading up to competition day,

Advanced Sports Nutrition
Advanced Sports Nutrition

A comprehensive guidebook based on detailed science and current research for competitive athletes.


The author is a professor in human nutrition at Georgia State University and a licensed dietician. His nutritional expertise has supported Olympic gold-medalists and other national-level teams.

Baseball on the weekend
Baseball on the weekend | Source
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook
Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Excellent overview in plain language for the busy family and career person who races or plays sports for fitness and fun.


Nutrition for Athletes

2. Clark, Nancy. Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

This is a comprehensive book aimed for busy people in business and family life who need to know how to eat well on the run and help their families eat well, too. Written in less academic style than Bernadot's book, it includes much of the same information in simpler, less scientific form. Practical and down-to-earth, Clark stresses that the best sources of nutrients are breakfast, lunch, dinner--ideally with foods as close to their unprocessed state as possible--nutritive snacks and water. She addresses topics such as special nutritional needs for pregnancy and for children, and realistic weight goals that are not skewed by false body images and eating disorders. The book includes approximately 80 pages of simple, healthy recipes.

The author is a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics whose private practice helps clients manage weight, enhance performance and resolve eating disorders. She is a competitive runner and recreational hiker, cyclist and rower.

Sports Nutrition For Young Athletes
Sports Nutrition For Young Athletes

Aimed for teen and youth athletes and their parents, this book explains in simple language the special nutritional needs for growing bodies. Great pictures.


Nutrition for Athletes Young and Growing

3. Bean, Anita. Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes.

This book is targeted for teens and parents of youth athletes. At less than 150 pages, with colour pictures of young athletes and short, bulleted sections on each page, it is very user friendly for its target audience. Written in a simple, accessible style, it's full of information without too many technical or complex details. It covers the basics of nutrition that young athletes need to know--eating regular meals including breakfast, snacking every two hours on unprocessed foods rich in fibre, vitamins and water, maintaining a realistic body image. Bean's book discusses the special nutritional needs that growing youth and teen bodies have to sustain bone density, lean muscle mass, and brain and organ development. This is a useful handbook to introduce active teens to the what and why of healthy nutrition for young athletes.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food ... A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies)
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food ... A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies)

With a focus on natural remedies and nutrition to manage conditions or cure illnesses, this book is useful for athletes recovering from injuries or illness.


Nutritional Healing

4. Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing.

This comprehensive treatment focuses on drug-free healing and managing chronic conditions through dietary intake of key nutrients including amino acids, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins. There are specific sections according to diseases and conditions, where the author discusses the importance of maintaining correct nutrition to maintain organ and immune system function even while appetite may wane during bouts of chemotherapy, radiation treatment or pain. Although it is targeted more for people managing chronic pain or medical conditions than for high-performance athletes, it nevertheless presents useful information for fitness buffs who may have injuries or illnesses.

Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health
Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health

With over 200 plant-based recipes from world cuisine, this is a user-friedly book for the kitchen for active people who want to mange weight and improve energy with balanced, clean eating.


Whole Foods for Fitness Nutrition

5. Brazier, Brendan. Whole Foods to Thrive.

This includes more than 200 plant-based, appealing recipes for peak health. It is an Interesting, attractive book for the reader who wants a more plant-based diet to support fitness and a clean- eating lifestyle. Not geared for high performance athletes, it includes little comprehensive and anatomical or scientific research, but a variety of delicious world food vegetarian recipes.

Talk back

What are your fitness nutrition goals?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Janis Goad profile imageAUTHOR

      Janis Goad 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for commenting, GoodLady. I hope you are thriving!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Thanks for the research into the books which are most useful.

      I'd be interested in buying Whole Foods to Thrive for the recipes!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)