The nutritional requirements for active individuals are different from people who do not exercise regularly. Additional calories are required to fuel exercise and, depending on the sport or activity, protein needs may also be increased. Proper hydration is necessary to prevent serious injuries and to maintain the body's core temperature.
Carbohydrates are the fuel of choice for our working muscles, and all active individuals need adequate amounts of this nutrient in order to perform to the best of their ability, especially before and after workouts or practice. A snack or meal containing carbohydrate helps to maximize performance and restore depleted reserves.
While it is true that athletes need more protein, the average American diet generally provides more than adequate amounts. Rarely, if ever, are protein supplements required to meet the increased needs of an athlete; any increase is easily met through careful food selection.