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Gary Slater, Benedict Tan and Kong Chuan Teh

The supplementation practices of elite athletes in Singapore were studied using an anonymous questionnaire. Information was sought on not only the type of supplements used but also dosage, rationale for use, and other factors that might influence supplement use including selected demographic parameters and sources of information relating to supplements. Data was collected from 160 athletes across a spectrum of 30 sports. Use of supplements was widespread, with 77% of respondents acknowledging use of at least 1 product. Respondents ingested a total of 59 different supplements, with each athlete using on average 3.6 ± 0.3 different products. Sports drinks, caffeine, vitamin C, multivitamin/mineral supplements, and essence of chicken were some of the most commonly ingested products, confirming that while vitamin/mineral supplements are popular, sports supplements and traditional/herbal preparations were also well accepted. Respondents preferred to source information pertaining to supplements from “significant others” and other readily accessible sources. A small number of respondents acknowledged the use of International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned or restricted substances, highlighting the need for athletes to consult sports medicine professionals with specialist knowledge of dietary supplements in advance of initiating any supplementation regime.

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Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Paula J. Ziegler and Judy A. Nelson

The objectives of this study were to determine food preferences, body image perceptions, dieting behaviors, and nutrient intakes of elite male and female figure skaters. Male (n = 23) and female (n = 26) figure skaters completed a food preference checklist, a questionnaire examining their demographics, dieting behaviors and body image perceptions, and 3-d food records. Male skaters had a higher preference (score ≥ 6) for grains, fruit, meat, dairy, fats, and sweets. Female skaters had higher preference for grains and fruits. Of the female skaters, 30% considered themselves overweight and indicated a preference for a thinner body contour. Both male and female skaters expressed a preference for leaner body contours for members of the opposite gender. Total energy intake, total fat (females) and dietary fiber were below the dietary recommendations. Vitamin E, vitamin D, folate (females), pantothenic acid (females), calcium (females), magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (females) were less than two-thirds of the dietary recommendations. Macronutrient intake of male skaters was associated with preferences for the grain group, although no association was observed among female skaters. Results suggest that these behaviors and attitudes need to be assessed and addressed among figure skaters, given their impact on dietary intakes and overall well-being.

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Sakuko Ishizaki, Takako Koshimizu, Kae Yanagisawa, Yoshiko Akiyama, Yuko Mekada, Nobuhiro Shiozawa, Noriko Takahaski, Jun Yamakawa and Yukari Kawano

This study was to assess the effect of a fixed dietary intake on biomarkers of red blood cell (RBC) biosynthesis and degradation. Over a two-year period, eight collegiate rhythmic gymnasts participated in this study. During the first year, they ate self-selected diets. During the second year, a fixed dietary intake involving consumption of common Japanese foods containing 15 mg iron and 1500 kcal energy was maintained for 4 wk at the beginning of the program. Fixed dietary intakes resulted in significantly increased intakes of protein, minerals and vitamins, and significantly decreased fat intake, but total energy and carbohydrate intakes were unchanged. Mean values of RBC, Hb, Ht, or TIBC were not affected by the intervention. A fixed dietary intervention appeared to enhance RBC turnover by increasing the capacity for erythrocyte biosynthesis and degradation, although the prevalence of iron-deficiency anemia remained unchanged.

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Jerry A. Frentsos and Janine T. Baer

Dietary habits were evaluated in 6 elite triathletes (4 male, 2 female). Analysis of 7-day diet records showed mean daily energy and carbohydrate intake to be insufficient to support estimated requirements. Mean intakes of vitamins and most minerals exceeded the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) except zinc and chromium, which did not meet 66% of recommended amounts. Individualized nutrition intervention using the Diabetic Food Exchange System to support performance during training and competition was provided. To improve dietary intake, subjects consumed fortified nutrition supplements (Reliv, Inc.) before and after daily training. Follow-up 7-day diet records showed that average energy intake and percentage of energy from carbohydrate increased, as did intakes of zinc and chromium. Triathletes' performance in a short course triathlon was improved compared to a similar competition completed prior to the nutrition intervention. Following the intervention, triathletes were able to meet recommended daily energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient intakes and improve endurance performance.

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Lothar Rokitzki, Enno Logemann, Georg Huber, Elfriede Keck and Josef Keul

This study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of 5 months of α-tocopherol supplementation on physical performance during aerobic exercise training in 30 top-class cyclists. Antioxidative effects of supplementation were also studied. Plasma α-tocopherol concentration increased significantly in the vitamin E-supplemented group, whereas the placebo group showed a trend toward decrease. Physical performance did not improve in the α-tocopherol-supplemented group compared to the placebo group. Heart rates were also not significantly different. Lactate concentrations at the aerobic threshold and the anaerobic threshold were identical. Thus, there was no performance improvement in the α-tocopherol-supplemented group. However there was a significant reduction in CK in serum of the E-supplemented group. A trend toward decrease in GOT, GPT, and LDH was observed with α-tocopherol supplementation. Moreover, significantly reduced malondialdehyde serum levels were measured in the E-supplemented group. The findings indicate a protective effect of α-tocopherol supplementation against oxidative stress induced by strenuous exercise.

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Katsumi Sugiura, Izumi Suzuki and Kando Kobayashi

Mean daily intakes of energy and nutrients were surveyed from 3-day food records for 62 elite Japanese track-and-field athletes (28 males and 34 females) selected to participate in the 1994 Asian Championship games held in Hiroshima, Japan. Mean energy intakes of male and female athletes were 3,141 kcal (±592) and 2,508 kcal (±537), respectively. Based on the Japanese Recommended Dietary Allowances (JRDAs), long-distance and middle-distance runners had significantly higher energy and macronutrient intakes than did sprinters, jumpers, and throwers. There was no significant difference in micronutrient intake among the different types of athletes. However, of the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers. 15 males (54%) and 22 females (65%) consumed less than the JRDA for at least one micronutrient (i.e., vitamin or mineral). For some athletes, nutritional counseling that provides strategies for increasing food intake is recommended to optimize nutrient intake.

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June Nutter

Dietary intakes of 24 female athletes in various sports were compared inseason and postseason to those reported by 24 nonathletes during the same time period. Diets were analyzed for energy, carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins A and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, calcium, and iron. During the study, the athletes' and nonathletes' diets were similar. Their energy intakes were lower than recommended while their iron and calcium intakes were marginal (less than 70% of the recommended dietary allowance). Although few dietary changes were observed, the nonathletes' diets changed more than those of the athletes during the study. Both groups reduced their energy intakes but only the nonathletes' reduction was significant. Initially many subjects were dieting. More subjects reported dieting during the second recording period. These results suggest that the desire to be thin may influence dietary intakes of female athletes more than changes in exercise training.

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P. Farajian, S.A. Kavouras, M. Yannakoulia and L.S. Sidossis

To investigate whether aquatic athletes follow optimal dietary intake, 58 athletes, all members of the Greek national swimming and water polo teams, were tested. Dietary intake was assessed at the nutrient, food, and food group level using the 24-h recall method and a food frequency questionnaire. Mean energy intake for males and females was 14.3 and 8.5 MJ, respectively. Mean carbohydrate consumption for male and female athletes was 4.5 g/kg and 3.8 g/kg of body weight, respectively. Fat intake was 153 g for males and 79 g for females. A significant number of the athletes (71% of the males, 93% of the females) did not meet the Dietary Reference Intakes for at least one of the antioxidant vitamins. The data suggest that athletes of both genders consumed too much fat and too little carbohydrate. Insufficient fruit and vegetable intake was related to low intake of antioxidants.

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Eleni Michopoulou, Alexandra Avloniti, Antonios Kambas, Diamanda Leontsini, Maria Michalopoulou, Symeon Tournis and Ioannis G. Fatouros

This study determined dietary intake and energy balance of elite premenarcheal rhythmic gymnasts during their preseason training. Forty rhythmic gymnasts and 40 sedentary age-matched females (10–12 yrs) participated in the study. Anthropometric profile and skeletal ages were determined. Dietary intake and physical activity were assessed to estimate daily energy intake, daily energy expenditure, and resting metabolic rate. Groups demonstrated comparable height, bone age, pubertal development, resting metabolic rate. Gymnasts had lower body mass, BMI, body fat than age-matched controls. Although groups demonstrated comparable daily energy intake, gymnasts exhibited a higher daily energy expenditure resulting in a daily energy deficit. Gymnasts also had higher carbohydrate intake but lower fat and calcium intake. Both groups were below the recommended dietary allowances for fiber, water, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin intake. Gymnasts may need to raise their daily energy intake to avoid the energy deficit during periods of intense training.

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Jacqueline R. Berning, John P. Troup, Peter J. VanHandel, Jack Daniels and Nancy Daniels

Dietary food records from adolescent male and female swimmers participating in a national developmental training camp were analyzed for nutrient density. The mean caloric intake was 5,221.6 kcal for males and 3,572.6 kcal for females. The distribution of calories between carbohydrates, protein, and fat was not ideal for athletes trying to optimize performance. These young swimmers consumed too much fat and not enough carbohydrate. They consumed more than the RDA of vitamins A and C, and thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin; however, some concern is expressed for females who did not meet the RDA for calcium and iron. This study shows that although a group of adolescent swimmers may be consuming enough nutrients, individual swimmers may have very poor dietary habits and thus may not be providing adequate fuel or nutrients for optimal training or performance.