Strength Training – Nutrition is one of the most important pillars of general health and also of successful strength training. Nutritional errors therefore lead to delays in performance development, unwanted weight gain or loss, poor performance in competition, and maybe even health problems.

Caution: the information and guidelines given here are only applicable to healthy, active adults between the ages of 19 and 65.
If you do not belong to this age group or suffer from diseases – in particular obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipoproteinemia, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer – you should not use these informations.

The most important tasks of nutrition in general and in strength training

  • Providing the body (most important brain and muscles) with energy
  • Supply of the body with proteins for building cells and tissue – e.g. muscles
  • Providing the body with vitamins and minerals for smooth metabolic processes, bone building and optimal oxygen supply
  • Supply of the body with fluids for transport and storage tasks and regulation of body temperature via sweating
  • Regulation of body weight
  • Regulation of water balance and body composition

The big three of nutrition – the Macronutrients

In nutrition science, macronutrients are defined as vital nutrients that are used by the body to produce energy. They are considered the basic building blocks of nutrition and must therefore be a central part of any diet plan – whether for athletes or not. Thsee macronutrients are specifically: proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Nutrition: Carbohydrates

In terms of quantity, carbohydrates are the most important energy-providing nutrients in the human diet. Carbohydrates are mainly supplied by the consumption of plant foods .

Recommended intake of carbohydrates

In the diet of healthy adults, the percentage of carbohydrates in the total daily caloric intake should be > 50% .

Sources of carbohydrates

  • Fruits (such as apples, bananas, berries, melons, and oranges)
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, …)
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, …)
  • Nuts
  • Grains (bread, noodles, pasta, crackers, cereals, and rice)
  • Seeds
  • Legumes (dried beans, lentils, and peas)

Nutrition: Protein

Dietary proteins primarily provide the body with essential amino acids and nitrogen for the body’s own construction of proteins, e.g. structural proteins such as actin, myosin and creatine, transport proteins such as hemoglobin or transferrin, receptor proteins, immune-active proteins such as immunoglobulins, and other nitrogen-containing compounds, e.g. enzymes, peptide hormones such as insulin, and DNA and RNA .

Sources of protein

  • meat,
  • fish,
  • milk and dairy products,
  • egg and
  • legumes

Protein contents of various selected foods

FoodProtein content per 100g
Hemp Seeds32g
Emmental (min. 20 % fat in dry matter)34g
chicken breast31g
Pork, cooked28g
Trout, cooked23g
Tofu, cooked16g
Quark (min. 20 % fat in dry matter)14g
Egg, cooked12g
Noodles, Pasta11,5g
Protein contents of various selected foods

Recommended intake of protein

The recommended intake for protein is 0.8 g protein/kg body weight per day for healthy adults 19 years of age and older to under 65 years of age .

Do athletes have increased protein needs compared to the rest of the population?

The body needs protein to build and maintain muscle mass. However, according to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), even amateur athletes who are physically active four to five times a week for 30 minutes at medium intensity . The recommended protein intake of 0.8 g per kilogram of body weight therefore also applies to this group of people. Competitive athletes may require more protein depending on the type of sport and training or competition phase .

Is taking too much protein harmful?

If an adult consumes twice as much protein as the reference value provides, this amount is considered safe by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) . However, if you exceed the recommended amounts, you should make sure that you drink enough fluids. Reason: The breakdown of protein produces urea, which must be excreted in the urine.

Nutrition: Fat

Fat and fatty acids are supplied by the consumption of fatty plant and animal foods and by fats and oilsanimal foods as well as with fats and oils added during cooking or direct consumption. Due to the high energy density and the findings on biological and physiological effects, fat intake has been a focus of health interest for decades .

Nutrition: Micronutrients


Overview table

VitaminSolubilityDACH Reference Value Recommended Amount
Vitamin B1: Thiaminewater1,1 – 1,3 mg/day (m)
1,0 mg/day (f)
1,2 mg/day (m)
1,1 mg/day (f)
Vitamin B2: Riboflavinwater1,3 – 1,4 mg/day (m)
1,0 -1,1 mg/day (f)
1,3 mg/day (m)
1,1 mg/day (f)
Vitamin B3: Niacinwater14 – 16 mg-Equivalent/day (m)
11 – 13 mg-Equivalent/day (f)
16 mg/day (m)
14 mg/day (f)
Vitamin B5: Pantothenic acidwater5 mg/day (m & f)5 mg/day (m & f)
Vitamin B6: Pyridoxinewater1,6 mg/day (m)
1,4 mg/day (f)
1,3 – 1,7 mg/day (m)
1,3 – 1,5 mg/day (f)
Vitamin B7: Biotinwater4 µg/day (m & f)30 µg/day (m & f)
Vitamin B9: Folic acidwater300 µg-Equivalent/day400 µg-/day
Vitamin B12 : Cobalaminwater40 µg/day2,4 µg/day (m & f)
Vitamin C: Ascorbic acidwater110 mg/day (m)
95 mg/day (f)
90 mg/day (m)
75 mg/day (f)
Vitamin D: Calciferolfatin the absence of endogenous synthesis:
20 µg/day
15 µg/day (600 IU)
Vitamin E: Tocopherolfat13 – 15 mg-Equivalent/day (m)
12 mg-Equivalent/day (f)
15 mg/day
(15 mg equals about 22 IU from natural sources of vitamin E and 33 IU from synthetic vitamin E)
Vitamin A: Retinol and beta-carotenefat700 µg-Activity equivalent/day900 µg/day (m) (3000 iu)
700 µg/day (m) (2333 iu)
Vitamin K: Phylloquinonefat70-80 µg/day (m)
60-65 µg/day (f)
120 µg/day (m)
90 µg/day (f)
Vitamin overview table – solubility and recommend daily intake

Vitamin B1: Thiamine

“Like all B vitamins, it is active in many metabolic processes. Above all, vitamin B 1 is particularly important in the production of energy from carbon and for nerve functions.

Vitamin B2: Riboflavin

“Riboflavin is one of the most important substances for transporting hydrogen and electrons. This property makes it essential for the citrate cycle, the continuous metabolic pathway by which most living organisms generate energy.

Vitamin B3: Niacin

“Niacin is a generic term for nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, soluble organic compounds that belong to the group of B vitamins. Niacin is found in a wide range of foods.

Characteristics of vitamin B3: Niacin
  • water soluble
Sources of vitamin B 3: Niacin
  • meat (especially lever) and meat products
  • fish
  • peanuts
  • whole grains

Vitamin B5 : Pantothenic acid

In nature Vitamin B5 is present in many plant and animal foods, and in the human body it is a component of almost all metabolic activities. “Pure pantothenic acid is relatively unstable, so it forms compounds with salts or occurs in the form of an alcohol.

Sources of vitamin B5 : Pantothenic acid
  • Panthotenic acid is found in almost every food. Severe deficiency states are therefore very rare.

Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine

Coming soon.

Vitamin B7: Biotin

“Biotin is a water-soluble, sulfur-containing vitamin of the B group. As a coenzyme, it is involved in energy, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and in the breakdown of certain fatty acids and some amino acids, among other things. Biotin is a coenzyme of central metabolic enzymes. These catalyze reactions within energy metabolism, fatty acid synthesis, cholesterol synthesis, gluconeogenesis and the degradation of odd-numbered fatty acids and of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, valine, methionine and threonine.

Vitamin B9: Folic acid

Coming soon.

Vitamin B12: Cobalamin

Coming soon.

Vitamin C: Ascorbinsäure

Coming soon.

Vitamin E: Tocopherol

Coming soon.

Vitamin A: Retinol and beta-carotene

“Vitamin A is an essential, fat-soluble nutrient necessary for numerous biological processes such as vision, immune function, cell differentiation and embryonic development. The term covers a group of compounds with vitamin A effect .”

Characteristics of vitamin A
  • fat soluble
Sources of vitamin A
  • eggs
  • milk & dairy products
  • Vegetables and fruits, like
    • carrots,
    • sweet potatoes,
    • pumpkin,
    • red peppers,
    • kale,
    • spinach,
    • lamb’s lettuce
    • honeydew melon,
    • apricots
    • mango

Vitamin D: Calciferol

“Vitamin D occupies a special position among the vitamins, as it is both supplied through the diet and formed by humans themselves through UVB light exposure (sunlight).

Characteristics of vitamin D
  • fat soluble

Vitamin K: Phylloquinone

Coming soon.


Coming soon.

Continue Reading


Ausgewählte Fragen und Antworten zu Biotin. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V.
Listing of vitamins. Harvard Health (2009).
Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for niacin. EFSA Journal
Neue D-A-CH-Referenzwerte für die Vitamin-A-Zufuhr. Deutsche Gesellschaft fpr Ernährung e.V. (2020).
Strunz, U. Vitamine: aus der Natur oder als Nahrungsergänzung - wie sie wirken, warum sie helfen: Extra: die fatalen Denkfehler der Vitamin-Gegner. (Heyne, 2013).
Leitlinie Fett. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V.
Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for protein. EFSA Journal
Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. (National Academies Press, 2005).
Ausgewählte Fragen und Antworten zu Protein und unentbehrlichen Aminosäuren. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V.
Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr.
Müller, C. Kohlenhydrate, Fett und Eiweiß – drei Hauptnährstoffe im Überblick. Landeszentrum für Ernährung Baden Würtemberg,Lde/Startseite/wissen/KH_+Fett_+Eiweiss+-+3+Hauptnaehrstoffe+im+Ueberblick.
Saporita. 15 High-Protein Foods that Could Help Support Your Health and Weight-Loss Goals. Weight Watchers
Pauls, J. Krafttraining - Die 100 Prinzipien Handbuch für Trainer, Betreuer und Athleten. (Stiebner Verlag, 2011).