Copper Status of Collegiate Female Athletes Involved in Different Sports

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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Copper status was assessed in 70 female collegiate athletes aged 18 to 25 years participating in cross country track, tennis, softball, swimming, soccer, basketball, and gymnastics during the 2000–2001 season. A group of 8 college-aged females, 20 to 23 years of age, who were not collegiate athletes, served as controls. Mean copper intakes including supplements did not differ significantly among the controls and athletic teams. Mean copper intakes including supplements as micrograms/day and percent recommended dietary allowance (RDA) were as follows: controls 1071 ± 772 μg (119 ± 86%), cross country track 1468 ± 851 μg (163 ± 95%), tennis 1099 ± 856 μg (122 ± 95%), softball 654 ± 420 μg (73 ± 47%), swimming 1351 ± 1060 μg (150 ± 118%), soccer 695 ± 368 μg (77 ± 41%), and gymnastics 940 ± 863 μg (104 ± 96%). Forty-one percent of athletes and 29% of controls failed to consume two thirds of the RDA for copper. Mean serum copper and ceruloplasmin concentrations were within the normal range and did not differ significantly among the controls (117 ± 22 μg/dl, 445 ± 122 μg/L) and cross country track (98 ± 17 μg/dl, 312 ± 59 μg/L), tennis (140 ± 84 μg/dl, 424 ± 244 μg/L), softball (95 ± 30 μg/dl, 310 ± 77 μg/L), swimming (98 ± 25 μg/dl, 312 ± 40 μg/L), soccer (93 ± 15 μg/dl, 324 ± 54 μg/ L), basketball (85 ± 10 μg/dl, 280 ± 62 μg/L), and gymnastics (96 ± 21 μg/dl, 315 ± 68 μg/L) teams. Copper status of female collegiate athletes appears to be adequate in this cross-sectional assessment.

S.S. Gropper is with the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. L.M. Sorrels is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University. D. Blessing is with the Department of Health and Human Performance at Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.