Body Composition, Dietary Intake, and Iron Status of Female Collegiate Swimmers and Divers

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

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Heidi L. Petersen
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C. Ted Peterson
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Manju B. Reddy
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Kathy B. Hanson
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James H. Swain
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Rick L. Sharp
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D. Lee Alekel
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This study determined the effect of training on body composition, dietary intake, and iron status of eumenorrheic female collegiate swimmers (n = 18) and divers (n = 6) preseason and after 16 wk of training. Athletes trained on dryland (resistance, strength, fexibility) 3 d/wk, 1.5 h/d and in-water 6 d/wk, nine, 2-h sessions per week (6400 to 10,000 kJ/d). Body-mass index (kg/m2; P = 0.05), waist and hip circumferences (P ≤ 0.0001), whole body fat mass (P = 0.0002), and percentage body fat (P ≤ 0.0001) decreased, whereas lean mass increased (P = 0.028). Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, we found no change in regional lean mass, but fat decreased at the waist (P = 0.0002), hip (P = 0.0002), and thigh (P = 0.002). Energy intake (10,061 ± 3617 kJ/d) did not change, but dietary quality improved with training, as refected by increased intakes of fber (P = 0.036), iron (P = 0.015), vitamin C (P = 0.029), vitamin B-6 (P = 0.032), and fruit (P = 0.003). Iron status improved as refected by slight increases in hemoglobin (P = 0.046) and hematocrit (P = 0.014) and decreases in serum transferrin receptor (P ≤ 0.0001). Studies are needed to further evaluate body composition and iron status in relation to dietary intake in female swimmers.

The authors are with Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. Petersen, Reddy, Hanson, Swain, and Alekel are with the Dept of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Human Metabolic Unit, Center for Designing Foods to Improve Nutrition; Peterson is with the Dept of Statistics; and Sharp is with the Dept of Health & Human Performance.

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