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Our new Sport Nutrition book is available from June 2024

The fourth edition of the textbook Sport Nutrition by Professor Michael Gleeson and myself was published on 5th June 2024. For the last 2 years we have been working closely with the publishers Human Kinetics to get this 700-page book published. A lot has happened in the world of sports nutrition since the last edition in 2018 and the new textbook reflects this! Here we will briefly discuss what is new in this textbook and why it should be adopted for college, university and online sport nutrition courses around the world.

Asker Jeukendrup holding the new 4th edition of the sport nutrition book

Sport nutrition : a relatively young discipline

Nutrition is usually defined as the substances that are taken into the body as food and the way that they influence health, growth, and body functions.  Human nutrition can be described as the process by which substances in food are transformed into body tissues and provide energy for the full range of physical and mental activities that make up human life. The study of human nutrition is interdisciplinary in character, involving not only physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology but also psychology and anthropology, which explore the influence of attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and cultural traditions on food choices. Human nutrition is also influenced by economics and politics as the world community recognises and responds to concerns such as malnutrition, obesity, cardiovascular/metabolic diseases and sustainable agriculture and eating choices.  Sport nutrition is a subdiscipline of human nutrition that is concerned with the foods, beverages and supplements used by athletes to achieve their goals of optimal performance, training adaptation, and recovery while maintaining appropriate body composition and good health. It also considers the types, amounts and timing of nutrient intake required to achieve these goals. Sport Nutrition, fourth edition, considers all the aspects of nutrition described above and explains the science that underpins the current recommendations for athletes.We believe that in order to understand and apply the principles of sport nutrition, some basic understanding of nutrition is necessary, as is some knowledge of the biochemical and physiological processes that occur in cells and tissues. It is also important to understand the way in which those processes are integrated throughout the body. Our book introduces the reader to the principles that underpin sport nutrition and their relation to sports performance.

Everyone is an "expert" in sport nutrition?

One of the reasons why we have so much confusion about nutrition and sports nutrition is that many people who do not possess knowledge of this important background (nutrition, physiology, biochemistry) communicate beliefs (particularly on social media) without really understanding the background. Therefore, a book is needed that is written by qualified and experienced scientists who have taught, researched and practiced extensively in the field of sport nutrition that provides a scientific underpinning of current sport nutrition guidelines and advice for athletes in a variety of sports.

Readers of this book do not need a deep understanding of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or physiology, but they should be familiar with some of the main concepts because the physical, chemical, and biochemical properties of cells and tissues determine the physiological responses to exercise and the effect that nutrition has on these responses. Readers lacking this knowledge can refer to Appendix A located in the free online ancillaries.

What topics are covered in the book?

Sport Nutrition, fourth edition (now with HK Propel Access), presents the principles and rationale for current nutrition guidelines for athletes and provides an in-depth look at the science behind sport nutrition. It moves from general principles of nutrition and nutrient requirements to estimating and fulfilling energy needs with the appropriate combinations of macronutrients and micronutrients. Supplements are addressed from a scientific standpoint, followed by the influence of nutrition on training adaptations, body composition, weight management, eating disorders and problems associated with low energy availability. Information on personalised nutrition covers periodised nutrition, sex differences, and special populations (young athletes, older athletes, and diabetic athletes) and offers practical examples from specific sports.

New full colour illustrations

The fourth edition is greatly enhanced with a new full-colour format showcasing 40 new infographics and 50 additional figures and illustrations. These visual elements provide a more engaging experience, allowing students to fully comprehend important concepts, methods, and research findings. This edition features online access to references, appendices, and glossary terms and definitions, providing useful explanations and at-a-glance information. This has also allowed us to incorporate more updated text, new illustrations, and colour photos in the book itself without it becoming too cumbersome! The book is available in paperback, loose-leaf and eBook formats. More than a simple prescription of recommendations, Sport Nutrition, fourth edition, offers a systematic presentation of the science supporting current nutrition guidelines. We believe it really is the ideal book to provide a comprehensive understanding of nutrition as it relates to sport, exercise performance, training, and recovery.

Here are some sample figures and infographics from the book:

Sample figures and infographics from Sport Nutrition by Jeukendrup and Gleeson

What else is new?

So, what is new in this edition of Sport Nutrition? Well, all chapters have been updated and the number of cited references has increased by over 30%. Some of the topics new to this edition include the following:

  • A discussion of the importance of nutrition in sport

  • How to recognise good versus bad information about sport nutrition

  • The role of the gut microbiota and how it is affected by diet and exercise

  • The function of macronutrients and micronutrients in relation to exercise performance and recovery

  • How useful are food labels for athletes?

  • Guidelines to limit gastrointestinal problems during exercise

  • Electrolyte replacement during exercise in the heat

  • The verdict on new popular supplements including ashwagandha, cannabidiol and cordyceps

  • The effects of exercise and nutrition on immune function and health outcomes, as learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Nutrition for the athlete during a period of illness

  • Factors influencing energy balance and body composition

  • Time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting for weight loss

  • Low energy availability and the causes and consequences of relative energy deficiency in sport (REDs)


In summary

In brief, this new edition has been updated in all areas and has been significantly expanded in areas that are most important in sport nutrition. But not only the theory has been updated, expanded and improved, the practical applications get a lot more attention too. And a big step up from previous editions is the inclusion of artist-inspired graphics that take the book illustrations to a new level.


Want to adopt the book for your course?

For academics adopting Sport Nutrition, fourth edition, for their courses there is free access to online instructor guides, an extensive image bank, a MCQ test package, and a powerpoint presentation package with over 750 slides, including text, tables, figures and infographics covering the main topics in every chapter of the book.

We think anyone interested in sports nutrition can benefit from this book. It is not a book to read on a beach with a cocktail. Someone on twitter (X) asked if this would be available as an audiobook because they did not like to read.... well, this book is definitely not intended for this purpose. This book is for someone who wants to really expand their knowledge of sports nutrition, really get a deeper understanding and is willing to study! The book can of course also be used to look up a particular topic and thus function as a reference source of information (an encyclopedia or Wikipedia of sport nutrition, if you like!).

Where can I order my copy of the book?



In Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, and the Middle East:


In South Africa: please contact Michelle Woodrow at


In Latin America: please contact the publisher’s representative at

Singapore and South East Asia


Further information about the book can be found at the publisher’s website:



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If you want to know more about supplements, the benefits and the risks. Click here.

Sports nutrition

General sports nutrition topics can be found here.

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