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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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Ian P. Snider, Terry L. Bazzarre, Scott D. Murdoch and Allan Goldfarb

This study examined the effects of the Coenzyme Athletic Performance System (CAPS) on endurance performance to exhaustion. CAPS contains 100 mg coenzyme Q10,500 mg cytochrome C, 100 mg inosine, and 200 IU vitamin E. Eleven highly trained male triathletes were given three daily doses of either CAPS or placebo (dicalcium phosphate) for two 4-week periods using a double-blind crossover design. A 4-week washout period separated the two treatment periods. An exhaustive performance test, consisting of 90 minutes of running on a treadmill (70% VO2max) followed by cycling (70% VO2max) until exhaustion, was conducted after each treatment period. The mean (±SEM) time to exhaustion for the subjects using CAPS (223 ±17 min) was not significantly different (p=0.57) from the placebo trial (215 ±9 min). Blood glucose, lactate, and free fatty acid concentrations at exhaustion did not differ between treatments (p < 0.05). CAPS had no apparent benefit on exercise to exhaustion.

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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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Ben Desbrow, Nicholas A. Burd, Mark Tarnopolsky, Daniel R. Moore and Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale

Adolescent, female, and masters athletes have unique nutritional requirements as a consequence of undertaking daily training and competition in addition to the specific demands of age- and gender-related physiological changes. Dietary education and recommendations for these special population athletes require a focus on eating for long-term health, with special consideration given to “at-risk” dietary patterns and nutrients (e.g., sustained restricted eating, low calcium, vitamin D and/or iron intakes relative to requirements). Recent research highlighting strategies to address age-related changes in protein metabolism and the development of tools to assist in the management of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport are of particular relevance to special population athletes. Whenever possible, special population athletes should be encouraged to meet their nutrient needs by the consumption of whole foods rather than supplements. The recommendation of dietary supplements (particularly to young athletes) overemphasizes their ability to manipulate performance in comparison with other training/dietary strategies.

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Andrea J. Braakhuis, Kelly Meredith, Gregory R. Cox, William G. Hopkins and Louise M. Burke

A routine activity for a sports dietitian is to estimate energy and nutrient intake from an athlete’s self-reported food intake. Decisions made by the dietitian when coding a food record are a source of variability in the data. The aim of the present study was to determine the variability in estimation of the daily energy and key nutrient intakes of elite athletes, when experienced coders analyzed the same food record using the same database and software package. Seven-day food records from a dietary survey of athletes in the 1996 Australian Olympic team were randomly selected to provide 13 sets of records, each set representing the self-reported food intake of an endurance, team, weight restricted, and sprint/power athlete. Each set was coded by 3–5 members of Sports Dietitians Australia, making a total of 52 athletes, 53 dietitians, and 1456 athlete-days of data. We estimated within- and between- athlete and dietitian variances for each dietary nutrient using mixed modeling, and we combined the variances to express variability as a coefficient of variation (typical variation as a percent of the mean). Variability in the mean of 7-day estimates of a nutrient was 2- to 3-fold less than that of a single day. The variability contributed by the coder was less than the true athlete variability for a 1-day record but was of similar magnitude for a 7-day record. The most variable nutrients (e.g., vitamin C, vitamin A, cholesterol) had ~3-fold more variability than least variable nutrients (e.g., energy, carbohydrate, magnesium). These athlete and coder variabilities need to be taken into account in dietary assessment of athletes for counseling and research.

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Manfred Lamprecht, Peter Hofmann, Joachim F. Greilberger and Guenther Schwaberger

Purpose:

To assess the effects of an encapsulated antioxidant concentrate (EAC) and exercise on lipid peroxidation (LIPOX) and the plasma antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (Pl-GPx).

Methods:

Eight trained male cyclists (VO2max > 55 ml · kg−1 · min−1) participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover study and undertook 4 cycle-ergometer bouts: 2 moderate exercise bouts over 90 min at 45% of individual VO2max and 2 strenuous exercise bouts at 75% of individual VO2max for 30 min. The first 2 exercise tests—1 moderate and 1 strenuous—were conducted after 4 weeks wash-out and after 12 and 14 days of EAC (107 IU vitamin E, 450 mg vitamin C, 36 mg β-carotene, 100 μg selenium) or placebo treatment. After another 4 weeks wash-out, participants were given the opposite capsule treatment and repeated the 2 exercise tests. Physical exercise training was equal across the whole study period, and nutrition was standardized by a menu plan the week before the tests. Blood was collected before exercise, immediately postexercise, and 30 min and 60 min after each test. Plasma samples were analyzed for LIPOX marker malondialdehyde (MDA) and the antioxidant enzyme pl-GPx.

Results:

MDA concentrations were significantly increased after EAC supplementation at rest before exercise and after moderate exercise (p < .05). MDA concentrations showed no differences between treatments after strenuous exercise (p > .1). Pl-GPx concentrations decreased at all time points of measurement after EAC treatment (p < .05).

Conclusions:

The EAC induced an increase of LIPOX as indicated by MDA and decreased pl-GPx concentrations pre- and postexercise.

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Marina Nikić, Željko Pedišić, Zvonimir Šatalić, Saša Jakovljević and Danielle Venus

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to assess the nutrient intakes of elite junior basketball players in comparison with nonathletes.

Methods:

A previously designed food frequency questionnaire was undertaken by 57 male elite junior basketball players 15 to 16 years of age and 53 nonathlete peers.

Results:

Mean estimated energy intake was more than 700 kcal higher in basketball players than in the nonathletes (p = .002). In both groups estimated energy intake was ~14% from protein, 38% from fat, and ~48% from carbohydrates. For the basketball players, estimated protein intake was below 1.4 g/kg in 32% of the group and above 1.7 g/kg in 51%, while carbohydrate intake was below 6 g/kg in 56%. Percentages of participants who apparently failed to meet the estimated average requirement for micronutrients were higher in the nonathlete group. The nutrients most likely to fail to meet the recommendations for nutrient density were vitamin A (~70%), zinc (49% in basketball players and 30% in nonathletes), niacin and calcium (~30% for both micronutrients in both groups).

Conclusion:

Within the limitations of the survey methodology, elite junior basketball players appear to consume higher absolute energy, macronutrient and micronutrient intakes than nonathletes, but the contribution of macronutrients to daily energy intake and the nutrient density of food choices was similar for both groups. Elite junior basketball players might benefit from nutrition education targeting carbohydrate and protein intake. Dietary modifications that increase intakes of vitamin A, zinc, calcium and niacin in the diets of both groups might also be of value.

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John L. Ivy, Lynne Kammer, Zhenping Ding, Bei Wang, Jeffrey R. Bernard, Yi-Hung Liao and Jungyun Hwang

Context:

Not all athletic competitions lend themselves to supplementation during the actual event, underscoring the importance of preexercise supplementation to extend endurance and improve exercise performance. Energy drinks are composed of ingredients that have been found to increase endurance and improve physical performance.

Purpose:

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a commercially available energy drink, ingested before exercise, on endurance performance.

Methods:

The study was a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. After a 12-hr fast, 6 male and 6 female trained cyclists (mean age 27.3 ± 1.7 yr, mass 68.9 ± 3.2 kg, and VO2 54.9 ± 2.3 ml · kg–1 · min–1) consumed 500 ml of either flavored placebo or Red Bull Energy Drink (ED; 2.0 g taurine, 1.2 g glucuronolactone, 160 mg caffeine, 54 g carbohydrate, 40 mg niacin, 10 mg pantothenic acid, 10 mg vitamin B6, and 10 μg vitamin B12) 40 min before a simulated cycling time trial. Performance was measured as time to complete a standardized amount of work equal to 1 hr of cycling at 70% Wmax.

Results:

Performance improved with ED compared with placebo (3,690 ± 64 s vs. 3,874 ± 93 s, p < .01), but there was no difference in rating of perceived exertion between treatments. β-Endorphin levels increased during exercise, with the increase for ED approaching significance over placebo (p = .10). Substrate utilization, as measured by open-circuit spirometry, did not differ between treatments.

Conclusion:

These results demonstrate that consuming a commercially available ED before exercise can improve endurance performance and that this improvement might be in part the result of increased effort without a concomitant increase in perceived exertion.

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Andrea J. Braakhuis, Will G. Hopkins and Timothy E. Lowe

The beneficial effects of exercise and a healthy diet are well documented in the general population but poorly understood in elite athletes. Previous research in subelite athletes suggests that regular training and an antioxidant-rich diet enhance antioxidant defenses but not performance.

Purpose:

To investigate whether habitual diet and/or exercise (training status or performance) affect antioxidant status in elite athletes.

Methods:

Antioxidant blood biomarkers were assessed before and after a 30-min ergometer time trial in 28 male and 34 female rowers. The antioxidant blood biomarkers included ascorbic acid, uric acid, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), erythrocyte- superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and catalase. Rowers completed a 7-d food diary and an antioxidant-intake questionnaire. Effects of diet, training, and performance on resting biomarkers were assessed with Pearson correlations, and their effect on exercise-induced changes in blood biomarkers was assessed by a method of standardization.

Results:

With the exception of GPx, there were small to moderate increases with exercise for all markers. Blood resting TAC had a small correlation with total antioxidant intake (correlation .29; 90% confidence limits, ±.27), and the exercise-induced change in TAC had a trivial to small association with dietary antioxidant intake from vitamin C (standardized effect .19; ±.22), vegetables (.20; ±.23), and vitamin A (.25; ±.27). Most other dietary intakes had trivial associations with antioxidant biomarkers. Years of training had a small inverse correlation with TAC (−.32; ±.19) and a small association with the exercise-induced change in TAC (.27; ±.24).

Conclusion:

Training status correlates more strongly with antioxidant status than diet does.

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Miguel David Ferrer, Pedro Tauler, Antoni Sureda, Pedro Pujol, Franchec Drobnic, Josep Antoni Tur and Antoni Pons

Soccer-associated oxidative stress has barely been studied. The aims of this study were to establish the effect of a soccer training match and the effect of a diet supplementation with a multivitamin complex and coenzyme Q during 3 months of soccer training on the pro-oxidant and antioxidant status of lymphocytes. In a randomized, double-blind trial, 19 male preprofessional soccer players were treated with either an antioxidant nutrient cocktail or placebo for 90 days. After this period the athletes played a soccer match lasting 60 min. All determinations were made under basal conditions before and after the training period and after the match. Basal lymphocyte hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production did not change after the 3 months of training. Catalase activity decreased (about 50%) after the 3 months, whereas glutathione reductase increased its activity (150–200%) both with placebo and in the supplemented group. Basal ascorbate levels were maintained during the training period, whereas α-tocopherol and MDA decreased (about 40%) in both groups. The match increased H2O2 production (180%) in both groups when the lymphocytes were stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate, and it also increased MDA levels (150%). Antioxidant enzyme activities and antioxidant vitamin levels were maintained before and after the match. Regular soccer training modifies the lymphocyte strategy to eliminate ROS and increases protection against oxidative damage. A friendly soccer match raises lymphocyte capacity to produce ROS and oxidative damage, but it is not enough to induce a defensive response, thus leading to a situation of postexercise oxidative stress. Supplementation with low doses of antioxidant vitamins and coenzyme Q does not modify the endogenous antioxidant response to training.