Daily Nutrition Requirements

Daily Nutrition Requirements

Sprinters need to be mindful of maintaining low body fat levels but still need to eat a sufficient variety and quantity of food to meet nutritional requirements and allow for the development of muscle mass. They also need to consume sufficient carbohydrate to fuel training needs, however carbohydrate requirements do not reach the level of endurance-type athletes. Listed below are the most important daily goals for athletes. While there are specific strategies athletes can use to maximise training adaptions and recovery around training it’s important look at the whole picture and not just focus on one aspect or nutrient.


Total daily energy is an important factor in planning nutrition for sprinters to ensure they aren’t over consuming and adding unnecessary weight. It is nearly impossible to determine an exact number of kilojoules or calories required for an individual. However with basic activity levels, sex, body weight and age you can get a rough estimation.

  • Check your estimated energy requirements here  

  This calculator does not take into account your specific training intensity, duration and type. It is therefore recommended to see a registered sports dietitian to get a more accurate estimation.


Macronutrients are manipulated specifically for for adequate fuel, performance and recovery. These are different to the general population requirements.



  • 5-7g per kg body weight /day



  • 1.8g per kg body weight /day
  • Spread through the day in 20-25g servings about 3 hours apart
  • Have a dose immediately before bed

Calculate Daily Carbohydrate & Protein Needs



There are no specific reference value for fat intake in sport however athletes should minimise saturated fats and trans fats to no more than 10% of total energy intake.

Good Sources of Fat

  Nuts & Seeds


  Easily track your food intake to see if you are meeting requirements through My Fitness Pal. Through the app or website you can search and enter foods. The app is free and also has a barcode scanning function for faster input.


The recommendations for micronutrients do not differ from the general population. However vitamin D, calcium and iron are the most important vitamins and minerals specific to sprinters. Check out this article to find out why.
All other vitamin and mineral requirements can be found here.

Vitamin D


  • 1-50 years     RDI – 5.0 µg /day  


Sources of Vitamin D





  Fatty Fish
  Vitmain D fortified foods



  • Females 19-50 years     RDI – 18mg /day  
  • Males 19-70 years     RDI – 8mg /day  

  Vegetarians/vegans are recommended to increase RDI by 80% due to the reduced absorption of plant based iron.

Sources of Iron

  Red meats, pork & poultry
  Dark Green leafy vegetables
  Iron fortified breads and cereals
  Use a cast iron pan to cook with to increase iron intake. Especially good for vegetarians/vegans.


Adults 19-50 years     RDI – 1000mg /day  


Sources of Calcium


  • Dairy products
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Beans
  • Almonds
  • Calcium fortified foods like soy/rice milk


All other vitamin and mineral requirements can be found here.


When choosing foods Select


  Nutrient dense foods

  • Diets need to be nutrient-dense
  • Select a wide variety of nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources e.g. bread, cereal, fruit, vegetables and sweetened dairy products

  Lean meats

  • Moderate portions of lean sources of protein such as lean meat e.g. skin-free chicken, eggs, low-fat dairy foods, lentils and tofu

  Nutritious Fuel Foods

  • Snack foods such as yoghurt, fresh fruit, low-fat flavoured milk and sandwiches are all nutritious fuel foods and make good snacks. For more details on nutrition around training click here.

  Avoid energy dense foods

  • Foods such as cakes, pastries, lollies, soft drinks, chocolate, alcohol and takeaways should be used sparingly
  • Energy-dense appropriate snacks need to be included before and after training to maximise performance during training and to promote recovery. See nutrition around training for more information