Nutritional considerations for the older athlete

Nutrition. 2004 Jul-Aug;20(7-8):603-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2004.04.004.


In this review article, nutritional considerations of the aging athlete are discussed. The focuses of the review include energy, carbohydrate, protein, selected vitamins and minerals, and fluids. Age-associated changes in body composition, resting energy expenditure, and volume and intensity of training, may decrease the need for dietary energy and the intakes of macro- and micronutrients and fluids. The older athlete should monitor nutrient intakes to insure adequacy, especially regarding carbohydrate to promote glucose storage and use as an energy source during exercise, and protein to promote strength-training-induced muscle hypertrophy. Emphasis should also be placed on the dietary intakes of certain micronutrients, as well as the potential need for supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals, including the vitamins B(2), B(6), B(12), D, E, and folate, and the minerals calcium and iron. Age-associated changes in thermoregulation and an increased susceptibility to dehydration underscore the critical importance to the older athlete of adequate fluid intake to sustain health and performance. Nutrition is a tool that the older athlete should use to enhance exercise performance and health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Dehydration
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minerals / administration & dosage
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins