Selected In-Season Nutritional Strategies to Enhance Recovery for Team Sport Athletes: A Practical Overview


Team sport athletes face a variety of nutritional challenges related to recovery during the competitive season. The purpose of this article is to review nutrition strategies related to muscle regeneration, glycogen restoration, fatigue, physical and immune health, and preparation for subsequent training bouts and competitions. Given the limited opportunities to recover between training bouts and games throughout the competitive season, athletes must be deliberate in their recovery strategy. Foundational components of recovery related to protein, carbohydrates, and fluid have been extensively reviewed and accepted. Micronutrients and supplements that may be efficacious for promoting recovery include vitamin D, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, creatine, collagen/vitamin C, and antioxidants. Curcumin and bromelain may also provide a recovery benefit during the competitive season but future research is warranted prior to incorporating supplemental dosages into the athlete’s diet. Air travel poses nutritional challenges related to nutrient timing and quality. Incorporating strategies to consume efficacious micronutrients and ingredients is necessary to support athlete recovery in season.

Key Points

Emerging evidence suggests vitamin D, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, creatine, and collagen/vitamin C are potentially beneficial micronutrients and supplements to help support recovery during the competitive season.

Future research is warranted with curcumin and, bromelain, although incorporation of naturally occurring sources of these nutrients has no known risks.

An emphasis on a well-balanced diet with the inclusion of fruits and vegetables to obtain a variety of antioxidants may be more appropriate than supplementing with individual antioxidants, as whole foods contain a more balanced profile of antioxidants compared with supplemental forms. Future research should explore antioxidant-rich fruits (e.g., tart cherry, pomegranate, and blackcurrant) because early evidence indicates a potential role in supporting recovery.

There is limited evidence to support specific nutritional recommendations to reduce symptoms of jet lag with air travel. Following personalized nutrition recommendations for macronutrients and fluids to promote recovery after competition is recommended during air travel. 


Autor / Fonte:Lisa E Heaton, Jon K Davis, Eric S Rawson, Ryan P Nuccio, Oliver C Witard, Kimberly W Stein, Keith Baar, James M Carter, Lindsay B Baker Sports Medicine 2017 July 12