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Caryn Zinn, Grant Schofield and Clare Wall

Little is known about if and how team coaches disseminate nutrition information to athletes. In a census survey, New Zealand premier rugby coaches (n = 168) completed a psychometrically validated questionnaire, received by either Internet or standard mail (response rate, 46%), identifying their nutrition advice dissemination practices to players, their level of nutrition knowledge, and the factors determining this level of knowledge. The majority of coaches provided advice to their players (83.8%). Coaches responded correctly to 55.6% of all knowledge questions. An independent t-test showed coaches who imparted nutrition advice obtained a significantly greater score, 56.8%, than those not imparting advice, 48.4% (P = 0.008). One-way ANOVA showed significant relationships between total knowledge score of all coaches and qualifications [F(1,166) = 5.28, P = 0.001], own knowledge rating [F(3,164) = 6.88, P = 0.001] and nutrition training [F(1,166) = 9.83, P = 0.002]. We conclude that these rugby coaches were inadequately prepared to impart nutrition advice to athletes and could benefit from further nutrition training.

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Mahsa Jessri, Maryam Jessri, Bahram RashidKhani and Caryn Zinn

The purpose of this study was to assess the nutrition knowledge and the factors determining this knowledge in Iranian college basketball and football athletes. By highlighting gaps in nutrition knowledge of these athletes, sport nutrition professionals may begin to address these gaps by educating athletes with a view toward minimizing injury and enhancing sport performance. Sixty-six basketball and 141 football players (response rate 78.4%) from 4 medical and 8 nonmedical universities in Tehran agreed to participate in this cross-sectional study. A 2-part questionnaire was used; the first part comprised questions identifying demographic information, and the second part comprised a previously well-validated questionnaire on sport nutrition knowledge. The overall knowledge score was 33.2% (± 12.3%). Men scored 28.2% (± 12.7%), and women, 38.7% (± 14.2%). In both genders, the highest score was obtained for the nutrients subcategory, and the supplements subcategory was the most poorly answered. When compared with their peers, a significantly higher score was obtained by women (p < .001), athletes at medical universities (p < .001), and those obtaining nutrition information from reputable sources (p = .03). The coach was cited by 89.4% of athletes as their main source of nutrition information. This study showed that the sport nutrition knowledge of these athletes is inadequate. Considering that this substandard level of knowledge may contribute to poor dietary behaviors, these athletes would benefit from nutrition-related training and education.

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Eric R. Helms, Caryn Zinn, David S. Rowlands, Ruth Naidoo and John Cronin

Purpose:

Athletes risk performance and muscle loss when dieting. Strategies to prevent losses are unclear. This study examined the effects of two diets on anthropometrics, strength, and stress in athletes.

Methods:

This double-blind crossover pilot study began with 14 resistance-trained males (20-43 yr) and incurred one dropout. Participants followed carbohydrate-matched, high-protein low-fat (HPLF) or moderate-protein moderate-fat (MPMF) diets of 60% habitual calories for 2 weeks. Protein intakes were 2.8g/kg and 1.6g/kg and mean fat intakes were 15.4% and 36.5% of calories, respectively. Isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) and anthropometrics were measured at baseline and completion. The Daily Analysis of Life Demands of Athletes (DALdA) and Profile of Mood States (POMS) were completed daily. Outcomes were presented statistically as probability of clinical benefit, triviality, or harm with effect sizes (ES) and qualitative assessments.

Results:

Differences of effect between diets on IMTP and anthropometrics were likely or almost certainly trivial, respectively. Worse than normal scores on DALDA part A, part B and the part A “diet” item were likely more harmful (ES 0.32, 0.4 and 0.65, respectively) during MPMF than HPLF. The POMS fatigue score was likely more harmful (ES 0.37) and the POMS total mood disturbance score (TMDS) was possibly more harmful (ES 0.29) during MPMF than HPLF.

Conclusions:

For the 2 weeks observed, strength and anthropometric differences were minimal while stress, fatigue, and diet-dissatisfaction were higher during MPMF. A HPLF diet during short-term weight loss may be more effective at mitigating mood disturbance, fatigue, diet dissatisfaction, and stress than a MPMF diet.

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Eric R. Helms, Caryn Zinn, David S. Rowlands and Scott R. Brown

Caloric restriction occurs when athletes attempt to reduce body fat or make weight. There is evidence that protein needs increase when athletes restrict calories or have low body fat.

Purpose:

The aims of this review were to evaluate the effects of dietary protein on body composition in energy-restricted resistance-trained athletes and to provide protein recommendations for these athletes.

Methods:

Database searches were performed from earliest record to July 2013 using the terms protein, and intake, or diet, and weight, or train, or restrict, or energy, or strength, and athlete. Studies (N = 6) needed to use adult (≥ 18 yrs), energy-restricted, resistance-trained (> 6 months) humans of lower body fat (males ≤ 23% and females ≤ 35%) performing resistance training. Protein intake, fat free mass (FFM) and body fat had to be reported.

Results:

Body fat percentage decreased (0.5–6.6%) in all study groups (N = 13) and FFM decreased (0.3–2.7kg) in nine of 13. Six groups gained, did not lose, or lost nonsignificant amounts of FFM. Five out of these six groups were among the highest in body fat, lowest in caloric restriction, or underwent novel resistance training stimuli. However, the one group that was not high in body fat that underwent substantial caloric restriction, without novel training stimuli, consumed the highest protein intake out of all the groups in this review (2.5–2.6g/kg).

Conclusions:

Protein needs for energy-restricted resistance-trained athletes are likely 2.3–3.1g/kg of FFM scaled upwards with severity of caloric restriction and leanness.