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Paula J. Ziegler, Judith A. Nelson, Chloe Tay, Barbara Bruemmer and Adam Drewnowski

Dietary energy density (kcal/g) is defined as available dietary energy per unit weight or volume of food. The consumption of energy-dense foods has been associated with increased obesity risk and with excessive weight gain. The objectives of this study were to compare how dietary energy density, calculated using three different methods relates to food choices and nutrient composition of the diets of elite figure skaters. Participants were 159 elite figure skaters attending training camps. Mean age was 18.4 y for boys (n = 79) and 15.9 y for girls (n = 80). Heights and weights were measured to calculate body-mass indices (BMI). Dietary intakes were based on 3-d food records analyzed using the Nutritionist IV program. Mean energy intakes were 2326 kcal/d for boys and 1545 kcal/d for girls. Dietary energy density, based on foods and caloric beverages only, was 1.0 kcal/g. Dietary ED was positively associated with percent energy from fat and negatively with percent energy from sugar. The main sources of dietary energy in this group were baked goods, cereals, regular soda, low-fat milk, fruit juices, bagels and pizza. Percent energy from fast foods was associated with higher dietary energy density, whereas percent energy from dairy products, soft drinks, vegetables, and fruit was associated with lower dietary energy density. These results are consistent with past observations; higher energy density diets were higher in fat. In contrast, there was a negative relationship between sugar content and energy density of the diet.

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Ronald J. Maughan, Phillip Watson, Philip A.A. Cordery, Neil P. Walsh, Samuel J. Oliver, Alberto Dolci, Nidia Rodriguez-Sanchez and Stuart D.R. Galloway

postulated to be related to energy density and electrolyte composition, both of which can affect fluid delivery and retention. However, combinations of key components (e.g., macronutrients, electrolytes, and caffeine) at different doses could influence gastric emptying, intestinal absorption, and fluid

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Xuguang Zhang, Niamh O’Kennedy and James P. Morton

The provision of exogenous carbohydrate (CHO) in the form of energy gels is regularly practiced among endurance and team sport athletes. However, in those instances where athletes ingest suboptimal fluid intake, consuming gels during exercise may lead to gastrointestinal (GI) problems when the nutritional composition of the gel is not aligned with promoting gastric emptying. Accordingly, the aim of the current study was to quantify the degree of diversity in nutritional composition of commercially available CHO gels intended for use in the global sports nutrition market. We surveyed 31 product ranges (incorporating 51 flavor variants) from 23 brands (Accelerade, CNP, High5, GU, Hammer, Maxim, Clif, USN, Mule, Multipower, Nectar, Carb-Boom, Power Bar, Lucozade, Shotz, TORQ, Dextro, Kinetica, SiS, Zipvit, Maxifuel, Gatorade and Squeezy). Gels differed markedly in serving size (50 ± 22 g: 29–120), energy density (2.34 ± 0.7 kcal/g: 0.83–3.40), energy content (105 ± 24 kcal: 78–204), CHO content (26 ± 6 g: 18–51) and free sugar content (9.3 ± 7.0 g: 0.6–26.8). Most notably, gels displayed extreme variation in osmolality (4424 ± 2883 mmol/kg: 303–10,135) thereby having obvious implications for both GI discomfort and the total fluid intake likely required to optimize CHO delivery and oxidation. The large diversity of nutritional composition of commercially available CHO gels illustrate that not all gels should be considered the same. Sports nutrition practitioners should therefore consider the aforementioned variables to make better-informed decisions regarding which gel product best suits the athlete’s specific fueling and hydration requirements.

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Alan J. McCubbin, Gregory R. Cox and Elizabeth M. Broad

This case study describes the nutrition plans, intakes and experiences of five ultra-marathon runners who completed the Marathon des Sables in 2011 and 2013; age 37 (28–43) y, height 184 (180–190) cm, body mass 77.5 (71–85.5) kg, marathon personal best 3:08 (2:40–3:32). MdS is a 7-day, six-stage ultra-running stage race held in the Sahara Desert (total distance of timed stages 1–5 was 233.2 km in 2011, 223.4 km in 2013). Competitors are required to carry all equipment and food (except water) for the race duration, a minimum of 8,360 kJ/day and total pack weight of 6.5–15 kg. Total food mass carried was 4.2 (3.8–4.7) kg or 0.7 (0.5–1.1) kg/day. Planned energy (13,550 (10,323–18,142) kJ/day), protein (1.3 (0.8–1.8) g/kg/day), and carbohydrate (6.2 (4.3–9.2) g/kg/day) intakes on the fully self-sufficient days were slightly below guideline recommendations, due to the need to balance nutritional needs with food mass to be carried. Energy density was 1,636 (1,475–1,814) kJ/100g. 98.5% of the planned food was consumed. Fluid consumption was ad libitum with no symptoms or medical treatment required for dehydration or hyponatremia. During-stage carbohydrate intake was 42 (20–64) g/hour. Key issues encountered by runners included difficulty consuming foods due to dry mouth, and unpalatability of sweet foods (energy gels, sports drinks) when heated in the sun. Final classification of the runners ranged from 11th to 175th of 970 finishers in 2013, and 132nd of 805 in 2011. The described pattern of intake and macronutrient quantities were positively appraised by the five runners.

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Colleen McConnell, Alyssa McPherson and Kathleen Woolf

, and empty calories and a higher score indicates lower consumption. All HEI components are calculated using an energy-density approach as quantities per 1,000 kcal, each with a different maximum value. For example, the whole grains component has a maximum score of 10, which indicates greater than or

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Maria Heikkilä, Raisa Valve, Mikko Lehtovirta and Mikael Fogelholm

energy density, dietary supplements, and proteins ( Trakman et al., 2016 ). In general, coaches appear to have better nutritional knowledge than athletes. However, the aforementioned reviews concluded that more research with high-quality measures is needed to obtain a more reliable insight into sports

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José L. Areta

.1136/bjsports-2013-093240 Melin , A. , Tornberg , Å.B. , Skouby , S. , Møller , S.S. , Faber , J. , Sundgot-Borgen , J. , & Sjödin , A. ( 2016 ). Low-energy density and high fiber intake are dietary concerns in female endurance athletes: Energy availability and dietary intake . Scandinavian

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Amelia Carr, Kerry McGawley, Andrew Govus, Erik P. Andersson, Oliver M. Shannon, Stig Mattsson and Anna Melin

increase energy density in the diet, is unclear. Cross-country skiers have high training volumes, high maximal aerobic metabolic power ( Sandbakk et al., 2011 ), and lean physiques ( Stöggl et al., 2010 ). With the prevalence of long-term energy deficiency and associated conditions reported to be high in

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Dimitrios Poulimeneas, Maria I. Maraki, Eleni Karfopoulou, Yannis Koutras, Stavrie Chrysostomou, Costas A. Anastasiou, Stavros A. Kavouras and Mary Yannakoulia

00416.x 10440589 6. Cox TL , Malpede CZ , Desmond RA , et al . Physical activity patterns during weight maintenance following a low-energy density dietary intervention . Obesity . 2007 ; 15 ( 5 ): 1226 – 1232 . doi:10.1038/oby.2007.144 17495199 10.1038/oby.2007.144 7. Phelan S , Wyatt

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Stephan R. Fisher, Justin H. Rigby, Joni A. Mettler and Kevin W. McCurdy

) Energy, J 4 4 41.7 39.37 417 J total (208.50 J each lower limb) Energy density, J/cm 2 4 4 1.5 (red) and 4.5 (infrared) 0.85 (super-pulsed infrared laser), 5 (red diodes), and 5.83 (infrared diodes) 1.5 (red) and 4.5 (infrared) Abbreviation: LEDs, light-emitting diodes. Photobiomodulation therapy