5 Best Books on Sports Nutrition + 1 Textbook

vertical stack of multicolored books

Lately it feels like everyone is writing a book on food or nutrition, which can make it overwhelming to know what sources to turn to. Lucky for you, I’m here to help you wade through the diet books and celeb cookbooks and find five of the best sports nutrition books on the market. They each contain the latest research in nutrition for sports performance, are written by reputable sources, and are easily available for purchase!

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Sports Nutrition Guidebook book cover

Up first is the bestselling book, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. This book should be on every athlete, parent of young athletes, and sports performance professionals’ bookshelf. Written by registered dietitian, Nancy Clark, who is one of the OG sports dietitians, this book is truly a comprehensive guide. It covers everything from each macronutrient’s impact on performance to nutrition for high altitude to eating to change body composition. It has 80+ pages dedicated to healthy recipes that are perfect for athletes and active people of all ages! 

Clinical Sports Nutrition

Clinical Sports Nutrition book cover

While technically a textbook, Clinical Sports Nutrition, contains the latest nutrition science but reads as a practical guide. As a result, it’s widely considered one of the best nutrition books on the market and is even on the recommended list for the CSSD exam! Louise Burke, the primary author, is one of the most prolific sports nutrition researchers and you’ll find some of her research on hydration, and carbohydrate and fat oxidation and hydration in here. It does come with textbook pricing so look for an earlier edition to save money.

Advanced Sports Nutrition

Advanced Sports Nutrition book cover

Advanced Sports Nutrition started out as a textbook but is now one of the top sports nutrition books. It is the best way for to gain a base of knowledge in human nutrition at an affordable price. Written by Dan Bernadot who has vast experience as a former dietitian with the United States Olympic Committee and with professional athletes in the NFL, it contains a valuable information for elite athletes, including those in team sports. Notably, it ends with practical advice on a variety of topics, making it a great resource for personal trainers, strength coaches, and athletic trainers. Additionally, it would be helpful for athletes who may not have access to a sports dietitian.

Endurance Sports Nutrition

Endurance Sports Nutrition book cover

Endurance Sports Nutrition is one of the best books for endurance athletes written by Suzanne Girard Eberle, an endurance runner, cyclist, and hiker. This book is a complete guide for serious athletes who looking to take their athletic performance to the next level. It breaks down the right foods at the right times for various endurance sports, including the specific needs of ultra-endurance and multi-day events. 

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating book cover

Finally, although not a sports nutrition book, Evelyn Tribole’s Intuitive Eating still deserves a spot on this list. While sports dietitians should focus on helping athletes reach their peak performance, we also need to consider the overall health of our athletes. For this reason, I think all dietitians, including those working with athletes, should know the principles of intuitive eating. And there is no better book to start with than this one.

Nutrition for Sport and Exercise

Nutrition for Sport & Exercise book cover

Now for a textbook rec! I’ve used a few textbooks and I like Nutrition for Sport and Exercise by Dunford and Doyle the best. It is organized in a way that makes so much sense, at least to me, starting with energy systems, and giving each macronutrient its’ own unit. It has the perfect amount of information for a one semester class. While it isn’t super research heavy, for the most part, I find that works better. This is great for teaching sports nutrition for non-dietetics majors!  

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