Nutritional needs for peak athletic performance include sufficient calorie intake, adequate hydration, and attention to timing of meals. Student athletes and their advisors often are misinformed or have misconceptions about sports nutrition. This paper identifies nutritional needs of young athletes, reviews common misconceptions, and examines the nutrition knowledge of athletes and their sources of nutrition information. Topics covered include energy, carbohydrate, protein, fat and micronutrient needs, hydration requirements, timing of meals, and issues related to age, gender, and specific sports. Other issues addressed include "making weight" and ergogenic aids. Proper nutrition for young athletes is critical not only to their athletic success, but more importantly to their growth, development, and overall health. Nutritional recommendations should be based on the most current scientific data; we provide information about appropriate resources for the school nurse when advising student athletes and their coaches and parents.