A sound general diet guide that concentrates on debunking the popular sports eating myths and offers constructive and innovative suggestions to take their place. Nutrition doesn't work miracles in competition, the authors note; but proper food intake can make some difference. Besides a readiness to believe nutritional claims, an athlete's major problem in eating is likely to be hypernutrition. The average diet today has no purpose--it's a ""happenstance"" result of affluence, farm productivity, and food-industry activities. So Bayrd and Quilter start with a questionnaire for assessing nutritional needs--on the basis of the difficulty of each sport, health status, fitness, body type, hereditary factors, stress, and eating habits. That established, they explain the components of good nutrition (including water requirements) and make basic diet recommendations for athletes: reduce fat, sugar, and processed foods; increase complex carbohydrate intake--actually, good diet advice for anyone. They also valuably examine the newest athletic nutrition fads--chiefly, carbohydrate loading and drug use: alcohol, analgesics, amphetamines, and steroids, among others. (Not only are steroids dangerous, we're advised, they don't even work.) For weekend golfers or competitive runners, a convincing antidote to the dangerous diet fads.