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  • Author: Kelly A. Erdman x
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Kristin Wiens, Kelly Anne Erdman, Megan Stadnyk and Jill A. Parnell

Purpose:

To evaluate dietary supplement use in young Canadian athletes, their motivation for consuming supplements, and their sources of information.

Methods:

A questionnaire tested for content validity and reliability was administered to 567 athletes between the ages of 11 and 25 years from the Canadian athletic community in face-to-face meetings. Demographics and sport variables were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Fisher’s exact tests were used to examine dietary supplementation patterns and sources of information regarding dietary supplement use between categories of gender, age, sport type, and competition level.

Results:

Ninety-eight percent of athletes were taking at least one dietary supplement. Males were more likely to consume protein powder, energy drinks, recovery drinks, branched chain amino acids, beta-alanine, and glutamine (p < .01); supplements typically associated with increased muscle mass. Athletes 11–17 years old focused on vitamin and mineral supplements; whereas, athletes 18–25 years old focused on purported ergogenic supplements. Strength training athletes were more likely to consume creatine, glutamine, and protein powders (p < .02). Reasons for supplement use included to stay healthy, increase energy, immune system, recovery, and overall performance. Primary sources of information were family and friends, coaches, and athletic trainers; with 48% of athletes having met with a dietitian. Preferred means of education included individual consultations, presentations, and the internet.

Conclusions:

The majority of young athletes are using dietary supplements with the belief they will improve performance and health; however, may not always have reliable information. Educational programs using individual consultations and electronic media are recommended for this demographic.

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Victor Lun, Kelly A. Erdman, Tak S. Fung and Raylene A. Reimer

Dietary supplementation is a common practice in athletes with a desire to enhance performance, training, exercise recovery, and health. Supplementation habits of elite athletes in western Canada have been documented, but research is lacking on supplement use by athletes across Canada. The purpose of this descriptive study was to evaluate the dietary supplementation practices and perspectives of high-performance Canadian athletes affiliated with each of the country’s eight Canadian Sport Centres. Dietitians administered a validated survey to 440 athletes (63% women, 37% men; M =19.99 ± 5.20 yr) representing 34 sports who predominantly trained ≥16 hr/wk, most competing in “power” based sports. Within the previous 6 months, 87% declared having taken ≥3 dietary supplements, with sports drinks, multivitamin and mineral preparations, carbohydrate sports bars, protein powder, and meal-replacement products the most prevalent supplements reported. Primary sources of information on supplementation, supplementation justification, and preferred means of supplementation education were identified. Fifty-nine percent reported awareness of current World Anti-Doping Agency legislation, and 83% subjectively believed they were in compliance with such antidoping regulations. It was concluded that supplementation rates are not declining in Canada, current advisors on supplementation for this athletic population are not credible, and sports medicine physicians and dietitians need to consider proactive strategies to improve their influence on supplementation practices in these elite athletes.

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Kelly Anne Erdman, Jasmine Tunnicliffe, Victor M. Lun and Raylene A. Reimer

The purpose of this study was to determine the meal- and snack-eating frequency and the nutritional composition of each eating occasion of Canadian high-performance athletes during training. Athletes from 8 Canadian Sport Centres prospectively completed 3-d dietary records including all food, fluid, and supplements consumed. The time of consumption and whether the consumption was a meal or snack were also identified. The dietary records were analyzed for energy (kcal) and macronutrient intake (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) and compared based on gender, age, meal vs. snack, and training vs. rest days. Three hundred twenty-four athletic subjects (64% female and 36% male) completed the study. On average, the athletes ate 4.8 ± 0.8 times daily. Nearly all athletes consumed 3 daily meals of breakfast (98.9%), lunch (97.9%), and dinner (98.7%), with few having snacks: 57%, 71.6%, and 58.1% of athletes consumed an a.m., p.m., and evening snack, respectively. Training-day meal frequency did not differ from that during rest days; however, fewer snacks were consumed on rest days. A.m. and p.m. snacks were consumed significantly more often on training days than rest days. Overall, snacks contributed 24.3% of total daily energy intake. Few dietary variations were discovered between genders, while the youngest athletes (<18 yr) ate less often, especially their morning snack, than the older athletes. In conclusion, Canadian high-performance athletes self-adjusted their energy intakes on training vs. rest days primarily by snacking less and reducing their carbohydrate and protein intakes on rest days, yet they consistently ate regular meals.

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Robyn F. Madden, Kelly A. Erdman, Jane Shearer, Lawrence L. Spriet, Reed Ferber, Ash T. Kolstad, Jessica L. Bigg, Alexander S.D. Gamble and Lauren C. Benson

Purpose: To determine the effects of low-dose caffeine supplementation (3 mg/kg body mass) consumed 1 h before the experiment on rating of perceived exertion (RPE), skills performance (SP), and physicality in male college ice hockey players. Methods: Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover experimental design, 15 college ice hockey players participated in SP trials and 14 participated in scrimmage (SC) trials on a total of 4 d, with prescribed ice hockey tasks occurring after a 1-h high-intensity practice. In the SP trials, time to complete and error rate for each drill of the validated Western Hockey League Combines Testing Standard were recorded. Peak head accelerations, trunk contacts, and offensive performance were quantified during the SC trials using accelerometery and video analysis. RPE was assessed in both the SP and SC trials. Results: RPE was significantly greater in the caffeine (11.3 [2.0]) than placebo (9.9 [1.9]) condition postpractice (P = .002), with a trend toward greater RPE in caffeine (16.9 [1.8]) than placebo (15.7 [2.8]) post-SC (P = .05). There was a greater number of peak head accelerations in the caffeine (4.35 [0.24]) than placebo (4.14 [0.24]) condition (P = .028). Performance times, error rate, and RPE were not different between intervention conditions during the SP trials (P > .05). Conclusions: A low dose of caffeine has limited impact on sport-specific skill performance and RPE but may enhance physicality during ice hockey SCs.