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Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes [Paperback]

Monique Ryan

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Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed. Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 3rd Ed. 4.0 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

March 1 2007

For any endurance athlete who is committed to better performance, smart nutrition can make the difference between setting a new PR or bonking into a disastrous race result. The fastest athletes are the ones who consider their daily nutrition as carefully as their workouts. Even small improvements in nutrition can deliver better training and faster recovery.

Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is your complete reference for every question on fueling, post-workout recovery nutrition, weight loss, ergogenic aids, vitamins and minerals, and supplements. This nutritional bible for endurance athletes demystifies sports nutrition, debunking myths and misconceptions to explain the principles that fuel athletes to better performance.

Certified sports nutritionist and dietician Monique Ryan examines the building blocks of an effective, high-quality diet, showing you how to balance your diet to support your training and how to hydrate for any type of workout or weather.

Ryan explains optimal diets for each endurance sport: running, cycling, triathlon as well as mountain biking, cyclocross, swimming, and rowing. For each sport, Ryan explains what to eat, how much, and when during normal training and on race day. You’ll learn what to eat before and during workouts, how to balance your body’s hydration and salt levels, and what foods will help you recover fastest.

Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes also provides invaluable guidance on:

  • meal planning with sample menus and typical shopping lists,
  • how the glycemic index of foods can improve fueling and recovery,
  • how to avoid sports-related vitamin and mineral deficiencies,
  • which sports nutrition products are effective,
  • how to improve your power-to-weight ratio.

Improving your performance means improving your nutrition. Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is your guide to better nutrition and your comprehensive reference for all questions on nutrition for endurance sports.

Product Details

Product Description


“Ryan demystifies the dietary cosmos, offering easy ways to eat for optimum performance.” — Triathlete magazine

"Monique has helped guide me to become an Olympian and World Champion in the sport of cycling. To find that competitive edge, take the next step by adding the nutritional component to your daily training regime. A great place to start is by reading Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes." — Kristin Armstrong, 2009 and 2006 World Time Trial Champion, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Two-Time U.S. National Time Trial and Road Race Champion

"In my opinion, the weakest link in endurance performance is an athlete’s nutrition. This can be easily corrected, however, with Monique’s book Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes. She has demystified how to eat day to day and for the moments that count in a race and provided information in an incredibly clear and adaptable way so that athletes of all levels will be able to fine tune their diet and finally perform at their top level." — Mark Allen, six-time Ironman World Champion

"I have always believed that the top Ironman athletes train very similarly, and that winning or losing comes down to nutrition and mental toughness. Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes sets the standard for getting you fueled to the finish line." — Tim DeBoom, Two-Time Ironman World Champion

"Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is a must-read whatever your competitive goals may be. This book will serve as a complete source for all your nutritional inquiries." — Alan Culpepper, two-time Olympian, two-time U.S. 10K champion, three-time U.S. Cross Country Champion

"Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes is a comprehensive nutritional guide. Monique Ryan provides valuable information that helps athletes maintain their energy levels and maximize their ability to perform in endurance events." — Dede Demet Barry, 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist, former U.S. National Criterium and Road Race Champion

"Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes offers an accurate and clear direction for today's competitive rowers. The information complements how I handled my diet as an athlete and the direction I offer both light and heavyweight rowers today." — John Riley, Two-Time U.S. Olympic Rower, eleven-time U.S. National Champion, former U.S. National Team Coach

From the Back Cover

“In my opinion the weakest link in endurance performance is an athlete's nutrition. This can be easily corrected, however, with Monique's new book. She has demystified how to eat day by day and for the moments that count in a race and presented all of this information in an incredibly clear and adaptable way. Athletes of all levels will be able to fine-tune their diet and finally perform at their top level. I wish this book had been written during my career!” —Mark Allen, six-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion

Newly updated and extensively revised, Monique Ryan's second edition ofSports Nutrition for Endurance Athleteswill equip you with a smarter plan for personal nutrition. Get the information you need to make better choices on a daily basis, be strategic about the timing and portions of the foods you eat, and choose the fuel that will work best for your favorite endurance sport.

Creating a sport-specific diet involves more than drawing up a list of foods and meals. Use this book to:
• Make an accurate assessment of your body composition
• Lose body fat and build muscle
• Better time your food intake
• Identify the best sports nutrition products
• Learn the real facts about vitamins and minerals
• Plan wholesome, balanced meals with sample menus and convenient shopping lists

This new edition includes expanded post-training nutritional recovery, a new chapter on nutrition for rowing, and a larger format to accommodate more than 100 tables and figures that make it easier than ever to make a plan that will work for you. Discover for yourself the difference that a smart nutrition plan will make in your training and competition.

Monique Ryan, MS, RD, LDN, has provided endurance athletes with winning advice on the science of food for more than 20 years. She is a consultant to the complete spectrum of athletes from newcomers to world-class professionals. She is also the founder of Personal Nutrition Designs, based in the Chicago area.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh. April 12 2011
By Just lookin' - Published on Amazon.com
I wanted to like this book. But it is very old-style nutrition.

You get to read about the macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) ad nauseum. But there is very little attention given to the importance of eating whole foods.

The author is a fan of packaged sports products, such as bars and gels. After all, If They Offer The Right Proportion of Proteins, Carbs, and Fats, What Could Be Bad About Them?

What has worked for me - whether during training/racing season, or off - is simply to follow sound nutrition practices that make for easy digestion, full absorption of minerals, and immune system support. The usual: 6+ cups of veggies a day; 2+ cups of fruit; foods with probiotic properties; antimicrobials (like raw garlic); fiber; limiting both wheat and dairy, which slow me (and a lot of other people) down. Choosing whole grains over refined. Rejecting overprocessed food, which retains a questionable amount of its original nutritional value. Before a race, eating highly digestible meals, with little fiber, that are mostly carbs and a bit of protein.

If you already know all this, then nothing this author writes is going to add to your arsenal of knowledge. In fact, you might wonder how she missed the class when they talked about the importance of whole foods.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eat Right, Train Right, Go Fast: the Gold Standard on Sports Nutrition Jan. 29 2009
By Leslie Reissner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To nobody's amazement, there is a lot wrong with the way people eat generally: one-third of all added sugar in the American diet comes from the consumption of soft drinks, and French fried-potatoes are the primary vegetable. According to a Johns Hopkins University study every single American adult could be overweight by 2048. Current prevalence of obesity and being overweight is 71 percent, which is nothing to crow about since it was only 57 percent in 2000.

I am an ardent cyclist and while we all know that cycling is a good way to get the pounds off what happens if you want to push up the performance beyond just losing some weight? I would very much recommend you read Monique Ryan's "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes." The 2nd edition of this book came out in 2007 and from what I see it remains the Gold Standard for anyone interested in this subject.

The first part of the book deals with the basics of nutrition in order to establish a base. You learn a great deal about the building blocks: carbohydrates, fats and proteins, along with information on hydration, and vitamins and minerals. Much of this information is available elsewhere easily enough but the writing here is very straightforward and easy to understand. There is a detailed discussion of the Glycemic Index and what it means in terms of building your diet. Helpfully, the author refers to the needs of those following a vegetarian regime as well.

Part II of the book is "Your Training Diet" and covers the rather complicated principles of an endurance athlete's diet. Not only will you arrange the type of foods you eat depending on what stage of your periodized training you are in but you also have to determine the correct calorie levels to maximize effectiveness, including recovery. There is a specific section on the nutritional requirements for building muscle that is quite detailed.

Supplements get their own section, although the chart on p. 187-188 summarizing them does not pull any punches about their effectiveness (or lack thereof). It was interesting to note that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) policy on supplements prohibits the providing of muscle-building products such as the popular creatine and even protein powder by a collegiate institution to its athletes. There are real concerns about the contamination of products: the International Olympic Committee found in a study that 15 percent of 600 over-the-counter supplements included non-labeled ingredients that would have resulted in a positive doping result.

With all this useful information, the reader is now set to go into the last section of the book which covers nutrition planning for specific endurance sports. Of particular interest to me is Chapter 9, which covers multiple cycling disciplines: road cycling, mountain biking, track cycling, cyclo-cross and even recreational distance riding.

Ms. Ryan notes: "Cycling is undoubtedly one of the most physically challenging sports that an athlete can pursue. It requires muscular strength, power, and endurance. Cyclists complete long aerobic training rides to prepare for competition, but they also incorporate a significant amount of anaerobic exercise into a program that includes intervals, sprints, and weight training."

The fact that refueling on the bike is a simple task compared to running or swimming is a good thing, given that fluid and carbohydrate demands during training are so high.

Other endurance sports covered in Part III include rowing, running, triathlon and swimming so if you do cross-training this is useful as well.

Throughout the book one finds valuable sidebar pieces on training in the heat or at altitude and how you can deal with this through proper nutrition. The book concludes with Appendices that cover the Glycemic Index of Foods, a comparison of vitamins and minerals and another on sports nutrition products. Appendix D is very important as it is a guide to planning meals, including snack ideas and tips on reading labels. There is even a section on dealing with restaurants and good choices to make and another sidebar with useful tips for vegetarians. Appendix E has sample menus, which look a bit boring but are only a guide and show you breakdowns by carbs, fats and proteins for the base, build and transition periods of training (with vegetarian alternatives). This is not a cookbook but explains what fuel you need to participate in endurance sports. Taking these basics there is no reason you cannot come up with attractive and nutritious meals to suit your taste. I would suggest using this book in conjunction with an on-line food diary, such as FitDay, to record what you have eaten and where you can quickly learn the amount of calories you have consumed and their composition.

One of the lessons I take from this book is that different sports and different periodized elements require varying nutrition. Nutrition is a key to success and while this book is aimed at competitive athletes it is so well-written that everyone with an interest in what they eat and in their physical performance will want to read it.

Of course, all this effort and self-denial and measuring how much food you eat can sometimes be a bit difficult for someone not paid to ride their bikes. For the final word, perhaps we could turn to former World Champion and three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond. He replied, when asked what he thought about during races in Europe: "Dairy Queen, God, I dream about Dairy Queens."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Right Dec 22 2010
By M. LebronDykeman - Published on Amazon.com
If you're a looking for a book that addresses the needs of triathletes with some scientific jargon but mostly straight forward tips, then this is the book for you. As a non scientist, but with enough knowledge of nutrition to get me in some trouble I found this book to be very insightful. It gave me a birds eye view of the science but the focus came down to what food to eat and why. I tend to buy and eat whole foods and try as best I can to eat seasonally. With all the suggestions of foods in this book and the nutrients that each of the foods provides I can check each section as the seasons change and focus on adding that type of food into my meal plan. My training this year has a nutrition focus. I am learning to eat for fuel and to maximize the results of my workouts. With a goal of doing my first half iron and my first iron in the next 18 month I am thrilled that I found this book just in time. I encourage all those out there who are trying to decide which book on triathlon nutrition is the best to give this one a try. I don't think you will be sorry. Good luck to all on your future races.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a quality book for someone who needs help Dec 21 2011
By learning about me - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book on proper nutrition, and don't mind getting into the technical side at times, this is a terrific read. Some may tend to gravitate to the back, looking for plans; however, if you truly want to understand the little things, try to read the book front to back. The wealth of information will assist you in becoming a consumer of nutrition rather than an eater!! I have used the principles in the book, tracked my progress, and have seen results in as little as one month. As someone who liked to eat, it is not always easy, but very rewarding.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cut through the media ads and hype...GET THIS BOOK!! July 17 2010
By tri-daddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stop wasting time reading ads about the next new product to help you shave time off your run/bike/swim/etc. Get this book. Be sure to read, then re-read, Part I & II. Really understand these parts, then jump to the chapters about formulating a training and racing diet. Then go back and re-read Part I & II again. Without a thorough understanding of the science behind REAL nutrition (not magazine ads), it's too easy to slip back into bad habits. Anyone serious about improving training effectiveness and race-day performance should have this in his/her library.

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