Nutrition for Synchronized Swimming: A Review

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

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Bronwen Lundy
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Synchronized swimming enjoys worldwide popularity and has been part of the formal Olympic program since 1984. Despite this, relatively little research has been conducted on participant nutrition practices and requirements, and there are significant gaps in the knowledge base despite the numerous areas in which nutrition could affect performance and safety. This review aimed to summarize current findings and identify areas requiring further research. Uniform physique in team or duet events may be more important than absolute values for muscularity or body fat, but a lean and athletic appearance remains key. Synchronized swimmers appear to have an increased risk of developing eating disorders, and there is evidence of delayed menarche, menstrual dysfunction, and lower bone density relative to population norms. Dietary practices remain relatively unknown, but micronutrient status for iron and magnesium may be compromised. More research is required across all aspects of nutrition status, anthropometry, and physiology, and both sports nutrition and sports medicine support may be required to reduce risks for participants.

The author is a performance nutritionist with the English Institute of Sport, Marlow, UK.

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