Energy and Nutrient Intakes of the United States National Women's Artistic Gymnastics Team

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The nutrient intakes and dietary practices of elite, U.S. national team, artistic female gymnasts (n = 33) were evaluated using 3-day food records. The gymnasts' reported energy intake was 34.4 kcal/kg (total 1,678 kcal/day), which was 20% below the estimated energy requirement. The contributions of protein, fat, and carbohydrate to total energy intake were 17%, 18%, and 66%, respectively. All reported vitamin intakes, except vitamin E, were above the RDA. The reported mineral intakes, especially calcium, zinc, and magnesium, were less than 100% of the RDA. The overall nutrient densities of the subjects' diets were higher than expected. Eighty-two percent of the gymnasts reported taking nonprescription vitamin and mineral supplements, and 10% reported taking prescription vitamin and mineral supplements. Forty-eight percent of the gymnasts reported being on a self-prescribed diet. Compared to NHANES III, the reported nutrient intake of these gymnasts was different from that of the average U.S. adolescent female. In summary, certain key nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc should be given more attention to prevent nutrient deficiencies and subsequent health consequences.

The authors are with the Department of Nutrition, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303-3083.

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