This paper describes the changes in the food selection patterns of male (n=7) and female (n=12) bodybuilders as they prepared for competition. Noncompetition dietary data were obtained 6 to 17 weeks (M = 12.5 wks) prior to competition using a 3-day food record. Precompetition food intake was recorded for the 3 days preceding competition. Foods were classified using the Exchange System and three additional categories which included desserts, alcoholic beverages, and other beverages. The noncompetition diets of the bodybuilders contained servings from each exchange, with the largest number of selections coming from the meat and bread/starch exchanges. Choices from the milk and meat exchanges were almost exclusively low-fat or lean. Primarily complex carbohydrates and high-fiber foods were selected from the bread/starch exchange. The number of different food items reported over 3 days and the total number of food items were greater in the noncompetition diet than in the precompetition diet. Also, variety among food groups and within some of the exchange groups was less in the precompetition diet. Although there was not much variety in the precompetition diets of the bodybuilders, the average nutrient density of their diets exceeded the Index of Nutritional Quality for all nutrients except calcium and zinc.
The authors are with the Department of Health Promotion, Physical Education and Leisure Programs, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131.