Nutritional and Energy Requirements of the Pregnant Exerciser and Athlete

Maria Raquel G. Silva, Belén Rodriguez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this chapter is to identify nutritional requirements for special groups of pregnant exercisers and pregnant athletes such as (1) athletes practic­ing aesthetic sports, weight competing for sports, and sports of long duration; (2) pregnant exerciser women who restrict or prohibit certain dietary practices or the consumption of important sources of energy and nutrients; (3) adolescent preg­nant exercisers; and (4) other pregnant exerciser women in high-risk categories. In addition, risk factors such as low energy availability and eating disorders related to their energy and nutritional requirements are also included. Micronutrients’ needs increase much more than macronutrients. Even prior to conception, an increased average intake of folate, iodine, and iron is recom­mended. However, only at the beginning of the second trimester, a marked increase in vitamins and minerals is observed. A pregnant exerciser or athlete who continues to train during pregnancy may have a total energy expenditure quite high, which depends on the type, intensity, frequency, and duration of the activities performed. Therefore, dietary intakes before, during, and after physicalexercise are crucial for the maintenance of adequate energy availability. In addi­tion, some unhealthy behaviors such as the consumption of alcohol, smoking, and other stimulant substances, and the lack of sleep should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExercise and Physical Activity during Pregnancy and Postpartum
Subtitle of host publicationEvidence-Based Guidelines, Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783031061370
ISBN (Print)9783031061363
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Athletes
  • Dietary intakes
  • Eating disorders
  • Energy
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients Exercisers
  • Nutrition
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep


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