The USDA Food Composition Database is the best resource for Athletes who need to monitor their diet

It lists all Proximates (Nutritional Values), Minerals, Vitamins, Lipids, and Amino Acids for almost all Standard Reference (Generic) Foods

It also lists many of these values for Branded Food Products although this data is much less comprehensive as it relies on the manufacturers to provide the information.

You can filter the report to show: All results, Standard Reference or Branded Food Products only. You can also filter on a specific manufacturer.

Here’s how to use the Database: (You can also download all the files to use in Access or SQL)

To start your search enter a food keyword, I used Kemp, and change the Filters as required. You will see the relevant results. In this case there is just one entry.

If you now click on the NDB_No or the Description you are taken to the food search basic results screen and from there you can select the full report (if it exists).

Results can be downloaded as CSV or PDF

You can also search for foods by Nutrient contents

A really nice feature is the Nutrient Search. You can search a food group, for example seeds and nuts, vegetables, or Herbs and Spices and show the values of up to 3 Nutrients.

You can sort the results by nutrient content or food name. This lets you find the highest value of any Nutrient or combination of nutrients in any food group.

In this example I have searched seeds and nuts for Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine the three BCAA Essential Amino acids. I can see that out of the 129 foods listed in this category Low Fat Sesame flour has the highest Leucine content at 3.84 g per 100g.

And in this example I have searched seeds and nuts for Protein, Calories and Carbs which makes it really easy to calculate the protein/carbs ratio. Especially as the Results can be downloaded as CSV or PDF.

If I now click on the NDB_No or the Description I am taken to the food search basic screen and form there I can select the food search full report.

Note: Nutrient values and weights are for the edible portion.

This is an essential tool for any Athlete who wants to ensure they are loading with enough nutrients. It makes it really easy for you to optimize your diet and to include a wide variety of suitable foods.

You can find the USDA Food Composition Database here