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Donna Beshgetoor and Jeanne F. Nichols

This study compared the dietary intakes of supplementing (SA) and non-supplementing athletes (NSA). Twenty-five female master athletes (mean age = 50.4 yr) participated in the study (SA = 16, NSA = 9). Four-day diet records were analyzed using Nutritionist V. Statistical significance (p < .005) was determined by independent t tests. No significant differences were observed in intakes of kilocalories (SA = 2079 ± 628 kcals, NSA = 2001 ± 435 kcals), protein (SA = 104 ± 75 g, NSA = 84 ± 35 g), fat (SA = 65 ± 39 g, NSA = 61 ± 22 g), or carbohydrates (SA = 269 ± 112 g, NSA = 277 ± 43 g). Mean intakes exceeded Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) guidelines for all micro-nutrients except calcium and vitamin E (NSA = 79% and 87% of DRI, respectively). SA had significantly greater total intakes than NSA for calcium (p = .0001), magnesium (p = .004), vitamin C (p = .003), and vitamin E (p = .001). Results suggest that female master athletes may rely on dietary supplements rather than nutrient-dense food choices to provide daily nutritional needs.

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Suzanne Nelson Steen, Kirsten Mayer, Kelly D. Brownell and Thomas A. Wadden

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the adequacy of dietary intake in 16 female heavyweight rowers during the sprint racing phase of the season. Caloric intake for the rowers was 2,633 kcal/day, lower than expected given the training regimen of these athletes. On average, rowers consumed below-optimal levels of carbohydrate. Protein intake was satisfactory but fat intake was higher than recommended. For the majority of rowers, micronutrient intake met the RDA. However, calcium, zinc, B6, and B12 fell short of meeting two-thirds of the RDA for a significant percentage of rowers. The preevent meal consumed both 15 hr and 2 hr before the event provided less carbohydrate and fluid but more fat than desirable. Female heavyweight rowers would benefit from nutritional counseling that provides strategies for increasing complex carbohydrates, calcium, zinc, B6, and Bl2 while reducing dietary fat. Adequate fluid intake is also essential.

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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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Nikki A. Jeacocke and Louise M. Burke

When testing is undertaken to monitor an athlete’s progress toward competition goals or the effect of an intervention on athletic outcomes, sport scientists should aim to minimize extraneous variables that influence the reliability, sensitivity, or validity of performance measurement. Dietary preparation is known to influence metabolism and exercise performance. Few studies, however, systematically investigate the outcomes of protocols that acutely control or standardize dietary intake in the hours and days before a performance trial. This review discusses the nutrients and dietary components that should be standardized before performance testing and reviews current approaches to achieving this. The replication of habitual diet or dietary practices, using tools such as food diaries or dietary recalls to aid compliance and monitoring, is a common strategy, and the use of education aids to help athletes achieve dietary targets offers a similarly low burden on the researcher. However, examination of dietary intake from real-life examples of these protocols reveals large variability between and within participants. Providing participants with prepackaged diets reduces this variability but can increase the burden on participants, as well as the researcher. Until studies can better quantify the effect of different protocols of dietary standardization on performance testing, sport scientists can only use a crude cost–benefit analysis to choose the protocols they implement. At the least, study reports should provide a more comprehensive description of the dietary-standardization protocols used in the research and the effect of these on the dietary intake of participants during the period of interest.

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Nancy J. Rehrer, Monique van Kemenade, Wineke Meester, Fred Brouns and Wim H.M. Saris

This study examined the relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and dietary intake in triathletes. Fifty-five male triathletes (age 31 ±6 yrs) were surveyed regarding the most recently completed half Iron Man triathlon. Questions were asked regarding GI symptoms and dietary intake. Fifty-two percent complained of eructation and 48% of flatulence. Other symptoms were abdominal bloating, vomiting urge, vomiting, nausea, stomachache, intestinal cramps, and diarrhea. More symptoms occurred while running than at other times. All individuals who had eaten within 30 min of the start vomited while swimming. Fat and protein intake was greater in those who vomited or had the urge to vomit than in those without these symptoms. Of the former, 93% had consumed a hypertonic beverage. Forty percent of those who drank a hypertonic beverage and only 11% of those who drank an iso-or hypotonic beverage had severe complaints. Four of five individuals with stomachache had consumed a strongly hypertonic beverage. All subjects with intestinal cramps had eaten fiber-rich foods in the pre race meal; only 10% of those without cramps had done so.

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Maroje Soric, Marjeta Misigoj-Durakovic and Zeljko Pedisic

The purpose of this study was to assess dietary intake and body composition of prepubescent girls competing in 3 aesthetic sports (artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and ballet). Because physiological demands of ballet training are similar to those in other aesthetic sports, ballet dancers were, for the purpose of this study, regarded as athletes. The sample consisted of 39 athletes (median age, 11 years, range 9–13) and 15 controls (median age, 11 years, range 10–12). Dietary intake was assessed using a quantitative food frequency questionnaire, and body composition, by means of anthropometry. There was no significant difference in total energy intake between groups, but there was a significant difference in energy substrate distribution. Artistic gymnasts reported significantly higher carbohydrate and lower fat contribution to total energy (57% ± 6% and 29% ± 5%, respectively) than rhythmic gymnasts (48% ± 6% and 36% ± 5%), ballet dancers (51% ± 4% and 34% ± 3%), or controls (51% ± 5% and 34% ± 4%). Relative to body weight, artistic gymnasts reported higher intake of carbohydrates (9.1 ± 4.2 g/kg) than rhythmic gymnasts (5.6 ± 3.1 g/kg), ballet dancers (6.6 ± 2.5 g/kg), or controls (5.4 ± 1.9 g/kg). Artistic gymnasts also had the lowest body-fat percentage among the groups. In all the groups mean reported daily intakes of most nutrients were higher than the current daily recommended intakes. The exceptions were dietary fiber and calcium. The proportion of athletes with an inadequate reported intake was highest for phosphorus (33%), followed by vitamin A and niacin (18%) and zinc (13%).

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Stefan Pettersson and Christina M. Berg

The purpose of the current study was to investigate elite female (n = 21) and male (n = 47) combat sports athletes’ (n = 68; mean age (± SD) 21.3 ± 3.8 years; mean height 177 ± 10.2 cm) dietary intake between weigh-in and the first bout in Olympic combat sports. The data were collected at 6 separate tournaments and measurements included estimated food records, time for recovery, and body weight (BW) at weigh-in and first match. In total, 33 athletes participated in wrestling and taekwondo, sports with extended recovery times, and 35 athletes in judo and boxing, sports with limited recovery time. The results displayed that despite a mean consumption of food and drinks corresponding to 4.2 kg, the athletes only regained an average of 1.9 kg BW during recovery. Water accounted for 86% of the total intake. For each liter of water consumed, athletes gained 0.57 kg BW, when excluding heavy weight athletes (n = 5). Carbohydrate consumption was 5.5 g/kg BW, compared with the recommended 8–10 g/kg BW. In total, one-quarter of the consumed water originated from carbohydrate-rich drinks. Given the average recovery time of 18 (wrestling, taekwondo) versus 8 hr (judo, boxing), the former group consumed twice the amount of water, carbohydrates, protein, and fat as the latter group. In conclusion, a large proportion of the participants did not meet the recovery nutrition guidelines for carbohydrates. In addition, the discrepancy between nutrient intake and weight gain points to the physiological barriers to retaining fluids during a limited recovery time after engaging in weight making practices.

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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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Heidi L. Petersen, C. Ted Peterson, Manju B. Reddy, Kathy B. Hanson, James H. Swain, Rick L. Sharp and D. Lee Alekel

This study determined the effect of training on body composition, dietary intake, and iron status of eumenorrheic female collegiate swimmers (n = 18) and divers (n = 6) preseason and after 16 wk of training. Athletes trained on dryland (resistance, strength, fexibility) 3 d/wk, 1.5 h/d and in-water 6 d/wk, nine, 2-h sessions per week (6400 to 10,000 kJ/d). Body-mass index (kg/m2; P = 0.05), waist and hip circumferences (P ≤ 0.0001), whole body fat mass (P = 0.0002), and percentage body fat (P ≤ 0.0001) decreased, whereas lean mass increased (P = 0.028). Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, we found no change in regional lean mass, but fat decreased at the waist (P = 0.0002), hip (P = 0.0002), and thigh (P = 0.002). Energy intake (10,061 ± 3617 kJ/d) did not change, but dietary quality improved with training, as refected by increased intakes of fber (P = 0.036), iron (P = 0.015), vitamin C (P = 0.029), vitamin B-6 (P = 0.032), and fruit (P = 0.003). Iron status improved as refected by slight increases in hemoglobin (P = 0.046) and hematocrit (P = 0.014) and decreases in serum transferrin receptor (P ≤ 0.0001). Studies are needed to further evaluate body composition and iron status in relation to dietary intake in female swimmers.

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Susan Heaney, Helen O’Connor, Janelle Gifford and Geraldine Naughton

Purpose:

This study aimed to compare strategies for assessing nutritional adequacy in the dietary intake of elite female athletes.

Methods:

Dietary intake was assessed using an adapted food-frequency questionnaire in 72 elite female athletes from a variety of sports. Nutritional adequacy was evaluated and compared using mean intake; the proportion of participants with intakes below Australian nutrient reference values (NRV), U.S. military dietary reference intakes (MDRI), and current sports nutrition recommendations; and probability estimates of nutrient inadequacy.

Results:

Mean energy intake was 10,551 ± 3,836 kJ/day with macronutrient distribution 18% protein, 31% fat, and 46% carbohydrate, consistent with Australian acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges. Mean protein intake (1.6 g · kg−1 · d−1) was consistent with (>1.2 g · kg−1 · d−1), and carbohydrate intake (4.5 g · kg−1 · d−1), below, current sports nutrition recommendations (>5 g · kg−1 · d−1), with 30% and 65% of individuals not meeting these levels, respectively. Mean micronutrient intake met the relevant NRV and MDRI except for vitamin D and folate. A proportion of participants failed to meet the estimated average requirement for folate (48%), calcium (24%), magnesium (19%), and iron (4%). Probability estimates of inadequacy identified intake of folate (44%), calcium (22%), iron (19%), and magnesium (15%) as inadequate.

Conclusion:

Interpretation of dietary adequacy is complex and varies depending on whether the mean, proportion of participants below the relevant NRV, or statistical probability estimate of inadequacy is used. Further research on methods to determine dietary adequacy in athlete populations is required.