Nutritional Intake in Australian Football Players: Sports Nutrition Knowledge and Macronutrient and Micronutrient Intake

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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This study compared the energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient intake in elite and sub-elite Australian football players and compared nutritional intake to current recommendations. Sports nutrition knowledge was also quantified and compared between elite and sub-elite players. Nutritional intake was quantified in elite (n = 35) and sub-elite (n = 31) players using the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool. The 88-item Sports Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire was used to quantify knowledge related to general nutrition concepts, fluid, recovery, weight control, and supplements. Elite players had a higher nutritional intake (mean ± SD) for energy (14,140 ± 5,887 kJ [elite players] vs 10,412 ± 3,316 kJ [sub-elite players]; P = .002) and fat (40% ± 6% [elite players] vs 34% ± 6% [sub-elite players]; P < .001). Protein intake exceeded the recommended intake in 77% of elite players and 68% of sub-elite players, and carbohydrate intake was below the recommended intake for 91% of elite players and 97% of sub-elite players. Sodium intake recommendations were exceeded by 100% of elite and sub-elite players. Both elite and sub-elite players answered 51% of the Sports Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire questions correctly. The percentage of correctly answered questions specific to supplements was 27% for elite players and 18% for sub-elite players. The results of the current investigation suggest that Australian football players’ nutritional intake is inconsistent with current recommendations for macronutrients and some micronutrients. Furthermore, players may benefit from additional knowledge of the risks and benefits of supplement use.

Lohman, Carr, and Condo are with the Centre for Sport Research, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. Condo is also with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Amelia Carr at amelia.carr@deakin.edu.au.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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