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Cathal Cassidy, Kieran Collins and Marcus Shortall

Competition-related dietary intake has not yet been investigated in Gaelic football. The present study examined the precompetition macronutrient intake of elite male Gaelic football players. Forty players from two teams completed a food diary on the 2 days preceding competition (Day 1 and Day 2) and on the match day prior to the match (match day). Carbohydrate intake was significantly greater on Day 2 compared with Day 1, for both absolute (295 ± 98 vs. 318 ± 77 g; p = .048; −23.6 g, 95% confidence interval [−47.3, 0.2]; Cohen’s d = 0.27) and relative intake (3.4 ± 1.1 vs. 3.7 ± 1.0 g/kg; p = .027; −0.3 g/kg, 95% confidence interval [−0.6, −0.03]; Cohen’s d = 0.32). The number of players in accordance with and not in accordance with the guidelines for carbohydrate intake on Day 2 was significantly different to an expected frequency distribution, χ2(1) = 32.400; p ≤ .001; φ = 0.9, with a greater number of players not meeting the guidelines (observed N = 2 vs. 38). The number of players in accordance with and not in accordance with the recommendations for carbohydrate intake on match day was significantly different to an expected frequency distribution, χ2(1) = 8.100; p = .004; φ = 0.45, with a greater number of players meeting the guidelines (observed N = 29 vs. 11). The major finding from the current investigation was that a significantly greater number of players did not meet carbohydrate intake guidelines on the day before competition. Individualized nutritional interventions are required in order to modify the current prematch dietary intake.