Many athletes do not achieve sound nutritional practices to optimize their sports performance. Factors include poor nutrition knowledge, dietary extremism, poor practical skills in choosing or preparing meals, and reduced access to food due to a busy lifestyle and frequent travel. Education in nutrition for the athlete needs to be practical, so as to address eating strategies and key food and fluid choices that will help to achieve the goals of sound nutrition. Strategies that can achieve a number of nutritional goals simultaneously are most useful, since athletes often find it difficult to integrate separate issues. Athletes with extreme nutrient requirements, or with nutritional problems, should seek individual assessment and counselling from a sports nutrition expert.