Nutritional Intake in Elite Cross-Country Skiers During Two Days of Training and Competition

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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This study investigated the energy, macronutrient, and fluid intakes, as well as hydration status (urine specific gravity), in elite cross-country skiers during a typical day of training (Day 1) and a sprint skiing competition the following day (Day 2). A total of 31 (18 males and 13 females) national team skiers recorded their food and fluid intakes and urine specific gravity was measured on Days 1 and 2. In addition, the females completed the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire to assess their risk of long-term energy deficiency. Energy intake for males was 65 ± 9 kcal/kg on Day 1 versus 58 ± 9 kcal/kg on Day 2 (p = .002) and for females was 57 ± 10 on Day 1 versus 55 ± 5 kcal/kg on Day 2 (p = .445). Carbohydrate intake recommendations of 10–12 g·kg−1·day−1 were not met by 89% of males and 92% of females. All males and females had a protein intake above the recommended 1.2–2.0 g/kg on both days and a postexercise protein intake above the recommended 0.3 g/kg. Of the females, 31% were classified as being at risk of long-term energy deficiency. In the morning of Day 1, 50% of males and 46% of females were dehydrated; on Day 2, this was the case for 56% of males and 38% of females. In conclusion, these data suggest that elite cross-country skiers ingested more protein and less carbohydrate than recommended and one third of the females were considered at risk of long-term energy deficiency. Furthermore, many of the athletes were dehydrated prior to training and competition.

Carr, McGawley, Govus, and Andersson are with Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden. Carr is also with the Centre for Sport Research, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. Shannon is with Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Mattsson is with the Institute of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden. Melin is with the Dept. of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Address author correspondence to Amelia Carr at amelia.carr@deakin.edu.au.
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