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.