For both elite level and recreational athletes, healthy sports is based on intake of healthy and safe food geared towards the optimal level of performance.
Strongly rooted in both university as well as research institutes we offer a wealth of expertise on nutrition & performance, like:
Nutritional intake, physical activity and sports
Addressing the interplay between nutrition and physical activity in order to optimize health benefits, or affect performance and recovery. This ranges from elite athletes to persons with a sedentary lifestyle and patients. Emphasis is on (micro)nutrient intake and status in athletes, the role of energy and protein in the adaptive response to exercise, and the effect of exercise on gut health and the immune system. Other research at WUR aims for nutritional improvement of diet-related (e.g. obesity, diabetes, negative energy balance) and age-related (e.g. fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease) metabolic health problems.
Supplements, food safety, and doping
This research area addresses issues of dietary intake and nutritional supplement use of elite and high performance Dutch athletes, the safety of food and food supplements and stretches to testing of doping usage, i.e. the additions to a normal diet, and their effect on the human body. Food supplements are a wide variety of herbal preparations, capsules and tablets, with or without a specific therapeutic indication. They are produced by many manufacturers and sold through different channels including internet. There is relatively little control on the quality and safety of food supplements. The use of doping in sports also poses great risks to athletes (besides the obvious ethical restrictions). We have innovative ways of detecting doping, for example through hair samples.