@imago: “It does seem like particular results can come from nutrition at the highest levels of athletic performance- but that is when you are really at the edge of ability, and for your average person, it just simply will not make that much difference and is not worth the neurotic over-thinkin”
I generally disagree with this. Most frequent gym-goers are either 1) underfed 2) overfed 3) paying absolutely no attention to diet whatsoever. If one’s goal is to lose weight weight in the gym (90% of my clients want to shed lbs.) then diet is always the first thing we talk about (diet and hypothyroidism ;-)) For Olympic athletes the question of diet becomes even more important. On the level of elite competition, everything matters. I would wager that such a small size of athletes doesn’t well represent the neurotic nature of competition. Walk in to almost any gym, anywhere, and talk to a musclebound man or woman about what they eat … you are sure get an earful.
@Imago: 3000-3500 does not seem very much fro people training full time! Your average young man or woman should be eating close to that with a very moderate amount of exercise
The term moderate is fairly vague. For instance, I personally train around 20 hours per week (~3 hours per day, 6 days a week). You might not consider this moderate, but for a well-trained athlete that has trained extensively over time 3 hours can be like a warmup. Ever spent an entire day in the gym? I do this routinely. My temps (since recovery) are quite stable at 97.8 (waking axial). My caloric input sustains my effort. Without additional exertion, like an Olympic athlete, the additional calories would be unnecessary, for me at least … UNLESS you were/are in recovery … then the sole goal should be recovery.