ISSA SN Chapter 1: Introduction

Yet to sign up for the ISSA nutrition cert? My site visitors get a special discount here. You can even get this nutrition cert for free with the purchase of their personal trained cert (an excellent combo).

Chapter Goals:

  • Know the basic differences in survival nutrition and nutrition for the primary focus of the athletic performance.
  • Find the pros and cons of an approach relating to dietary reference values.
  • Talk about the 3 Es in nutrition.
  • Know are our essential nutrients.


Nutrition is now considered more than just for living and being healthy. It is now there to help people thrive in ways such as the improvement of athletic performance. More progress has been made in how nutrition affects our function, improves our health and our athletic performance, and even prevents many diseases. 

This book is used to show the effects nutrition can have on athletes’ performance. 

Innovative Sports Nutrition Course

  • Some of the best features of the sports nutrition course include the following:
  • Comprehensive models based on evidence
  • The requirements for protein, carbs, and lipids
  • Essential nutrient intake approaches for performance
  • A novel of dietary supplement ingredients that can have effects
  • Timing for meals
  • Options for loading carbs for endurance athletes
  • Focus put on the healthy lipids
  • Nutrition advice for before, during, and after training.
  • Recovery nutrition and nutrition for healing
  • Nutrition with a focus put on mental focus and arousal
  • Nutrition with a focus put on healing tissues
  • Nutrition with a focus on reducing inflammation and pain
  • Nutrition with a focus on improving energy systems both with and without oxygen
  • Nutrients needed for strengthening athletes
  • Nutrients required for the building of muscle
  • Fat loss targeting for athletes
  • Various supplement use along with the clinical evidence

Here are some of the bigger nutrition issues that have been collaborated in independent research reviews:

  • Guidelines for hydration
  • Achievement of glycogen stores adequate for training
  • Protein types 
  • Athlete energy needs and analyses of their body composition
  • Diets that are high in carbs
  • Timing of meals, the composition of meals, and their frequency
  • Knowledge of the female athlete triad
  • Supplements that are ergogenic aid with their scientific evidence

A Word about Sports Nutrition Supplements and Other Sports Nutrition Products

Students need to know that the inclusion of information regarding sports supplements and other products in sports nutrition based on evidence from scientific research is used for athletic performance and health. 

United States and Canada

These two countries work closely with each other to update the essential nutrition sciences and national guidelines.  They also work close when it comes to guidelines for supplementation. 

Dietary Reference Values

Much progress has been made in the U.S. and other countries in determining the need for promoting health and preventing diseases relating to nutrition. 

Dietary reference intakes are the reference values for intaking nutrients and components of foods by both America and Canada. People should aim to get the proper nutrient intake while not taking in over the upper limit of the nutrients. This is what we aim to avoid by having these references. 

Athletic Perfection from Imperfection

A major challenge for athletic performance is juggling the diet, body composition, calorie intake, and other measurements when they are imperfect. This makes it tough to measure everything accurately. 

Nutrition Defined

Nutrition is our process for the body and its use of food for sustenance needed to live. We convert foods into structural and functional compounds of the body, like the skin, muscles, and our hair. We need nutrition for energy production, growth, maintaining bodily functions, repairing tissues, performing physically, and promoting good health. Some body parts require specific nutrients for proper function. 

Many athletes these days are on diets focused on fast food and snacks that lack essential nutrients. This isn’t to say that unessential nutrients are unimportant, but they also are. 

The importance of all diets will be put on a balanced diet with foods from four major categories.

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Meat, fish, and poultry
  • Dairy
  • Bread and cereal

This simple breakdown of food groups should work, but the united states as a whole is a nation suffering from fatal diseases that relate to poor nutrition. 

The world’s food supply varies, and all diets differ for many reasons, like location, body size, gender, and more. 

The Three E’s of Nutrition

There are three categories we generally see for nutrition practices today. These are clinical nutrition and disease treatment.

  • Essential nutrition for survival and basic health
  • Essential nutrition for optimum health
  • Essential nutrition for athletic performance

Essential Nutrition for Survival and Basic Health

Most diets that the general population consumes will fit into this first category. This is based upon US government standards. The RDAs were created in 1943 to serve as the goal for proper nutrition. RDAs are also used for the basis of good health for evaluating specific groups of people. 

Many people, however, believe that the RDAs are insufficient for optimal health. The RDAs assume that everyone has the same requirements for their best health. So, in this sense, it is right that it is not best to see RDAs as best for everyone. 

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers

Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

These nine nutrients were the only nutrients with RDAs when first established in 1963:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron 
  • Calcium
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin C

The Essential nutrients are:


As a source of glucose.


For a source of linoleic acid and linolenic acid


A source for the essential amino acids

  • Histidine 
  • Methionine plus cystine 
  • Tryptophan
  • Isoleucine 
  • Phenylalanine
  • Valine
  • Leucine
  • Tyrosine 
  • Lysine
  • Threonine


Calcium, chloride, phosphorous, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, iodide, cobalt, fluoride, selenium, chromium, and molybdenum. 


Vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Folic acid, Biotin, other B6, choline, and Inositol. 

Dietary Reference Intake Terminology

Dietary reference values are for the taking in of nutrients and food components of Americans and Canadians. 

The estimated average requirement is the average nutrient intake level that meets the needs of half of the healthy people in a population in some life stages.

Recommended dietary allowance is the average nutrient intake level per day that meets 98 percent of healthy people in a gender group or life stage group. 

Adequate Intake is the recommended daily intake level seen or determined based on approximations and estimates of nutrient intake in a group of healthy people assumed to be sufficient. 

A tolerable upper intake level is the highest amount of a nutrient that is likely not to have any risk of adverse health effects for most people in the population. The risk of bad effects increases as the intake increases over the tolerable upper intake level. 

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range is the range of intakes associated with reductions in chronic disease risks but gives adequate levels of essential nutrients. 

Future chapters will elaborate on terminology such as daily reference values, reference daily intakes, and daily values. 

Essential Nutrition for Optimum Health (The ODAs)

The government standards are there for providing the minimum levels of nutrients. So optimum nutrition is not going to be achieved with the previous goals of just survival. 

Essential Nutrition for Athletic Performance

This is the most recent advancement in the nutrition field. Here we look for optimum nutrition and the proper amounts of energy for sustaining workouts and competitions. 

Performance Daily Intakes

These are known as PDIs. These guidelines are based on science in nutrition, sports nutrition, and fitness nutrition. PDI ranges show the need for nutrients based on their own size and activity level. Keep in mind that PDIs:

  • They are intended for the athletic population and healthy, physically active people. 
  • They are dynamic and consider many needs, activity levels, and people’s sizes. 
  • They are for men and women.
  • Compensate for the greater requirements for nutrition that the physically active athletes have compared to the general population.
  • Are for working with the physicians and other health professionals supervision. 
ISSA SN Chapter 1: Introduction 3
ISSA SN Chapter 1: Introduction 4

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

All Posts

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity

All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

Ask me a question and I will reply ASAP

Find the best Cert for you


Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT


Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the NASM CPT