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Jennifer L. Krempien and Susan I. Barr

Energy intakes of adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) have been reported to be relatively low, with many micronutrients below recommended amounts, but little is known about the diets of athletes with SCI. The purpose of this cross-sectional, observational study was to assess energy intakes and estimate the prevalence of dietary inadequacy in a sample of elite Canadian athletes with SCI (n = 32). Three-day self-reported food diaries completed at home and training camp were analyzed for energy (kcal), macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals and compared with the dietary reference intakes (DRIs). The prevalence of nutrient inadequacy was estimated by the proportion of athletes with mean intakes below the estimated average requirement (EAR). Energy intakes were 2,156 ± 431 kcal for men and 1,991 ± 510 kcal for women. Macronutrient intakes were within the acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges. While at training camp, >25% of men had intakes below the EAR for calcium, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin D intakes were higher at home than training camp. Over 25% of women had intakes below the EAR for calcium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin D, with no significant differences in mean intakes between home and training camp. Vitamin/mineral supplement use significantly increased men’s intakes of most nutrients but did not affect prevalence of inadequacy. Women’s intakes did not change significantly with vitamin/mineral supplementation. These results demonstrate that athletes with SCI are at risk for several nutrient inadequacies relative to the DRIs.

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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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Protein Needs of Physically Active Children

Re: Golden Horseshoe Pediatric Exercise Group: Proceedings Paper

Kimberly A. Volterman and Stephanie A. Atkinson

Current Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for protein for children and youth require revision as they were derived primarily on nitrogen balance data in young children or extrapolated from adult values; did not account for the possible influence of above average physical activity; and did not set an upper tolerable level of intake. Revision of the protein DRIs requires new research that investigates: 1) long-term dose-response to identify protein and essential amino acid requirements of both sexes at various pubertal stages and under differing conditions of physical activity; 2) the acute protein needs (quantity and timing) following a single bout of exercise; 3) the potential adverse effects of chronic high intakes of protein; and 4) new measurement techniques (i.e., IAAO or stable isotope methodologies) to improve accuracy of protein needs. While active individuals may require protein in excess of current DRIs, most active Canadian children and youth have habitual protein intakes that exceed current recommendations.

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Claudia Ridel Juzwiak, Ciro Winckler, Daniel Paduan Joaquim, Andressa Silva and Marco Tulio de Mello

To compare basal metabolic rate (BMR) predicted by different equations with measured BMR of the Brazilian paralympic track & field team aiming to verify which of these equations is best suited for use in this group. Method: 19 male and 11 female athletes grouped according to functional classification (vision impairment-VI, limb deficiency-LD, and cerebral palsy-CP) had their BMR measured by indirect calorimetry and compared with values predicted by different equations: Cunningham, Owen, Harris-Benedict, FAO/OMS, Dietary Reference Intakes, and Mifflin. Body composition data were obtained by skinfold measurements. Results were reported as mean and standard deviation and analyzed using the Wilcoxon test and Pearson´s Correlation Coefficient. The Root Mean Squared Prediction Error (RMSPE) was calculated to identify the similarity between the estimated and predicted BMR. Results: Mean measured BMR was 25 ± 4.2, 26 ± 2.4, and 26 ± 2.7 kcal/kg of fat free mass/day for VI, LD, and CP, respectively. Owen´s equation had the best predictive performance in comparison with measured BMR for LD and CP athletes, within 104 and 125 kcal/day, while Mifflin’s equation predicted within 146 kcal/day for VI athletes. Conclusion: for this specific group of athletes the Owen and Mifflin equations provided the best predictions of BMR.

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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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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.

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Wade L. Knez and Jonathan M. Peake

Ultraendurance exercise training places large energy demands on athletes and causes a high turnover of vitamins through sweat losses, metabolism, and the musculoskeletal repair process. Ultraendurance athletes may not consume sufficient quantities or quality of food in their diet to meet these needs. Consequently, they may use oral vitamin and mineral supplements to maintain their health and performance. We assessed the vitamin and mineral intake of ultraendurance athletes in their regular diet, in addition to oral vitamin and mineral supplements. Thirty-seven ultraendurance triathletes (24 men and 13 women) completed a 7-day nutrition diary including a questionnaire to determine nutrition adequacy and supplement intake. Compared with dietary reference intakes for the general population, both male and female triathletes met or exceeded all except for vitamin D. In addition, female athletes consumed slightly less than the recommended daily intake for folate and potassium; however, the difference was trivial. Over 60% of the athletes reported using vitamin supplements, of which vitamin C (97.5%), vitamin E (78.3%), and multivitamins (52.2%) were the most commonly used supplements. Almost half (47.8%) the athletes who used supplements did so to prevent or reduce cold symptoms. Only 1 athlete used supplements on formal medical advice. Vitamin C and E supplementation was common in ultraendurance triathletes, despite no evidence of dietary deficiency in these 2 vitamins.

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Pablo M. García-Rovés, Serafina Fernández, Manuel Rodríguez, Javier Pérez-Landaluce and Angeles M. Patterson

The aim of this study is to accurately describe the eating pattern and nutritional status of international elite flatwater paddlers during 1 week of a high volume training camp. Ten male and 5 female international elite flatwater paddlers were recruited to take part in this study. These athletes were all members of the Spanish National Team. To assess the intake of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients, we used the weighed food intake method carried out by an observer. Biochemical and hematological profiles were also obtained. Average daily energy intake in male and female flatwater paddlers was 21.5 ± 2.3 and 16.5 ± 1.7 MJ, respectively. Furthermore, the male athletes showed average carbohydrate and protein intakes of 7.5 ±0.8 and 2.2 ±0.3 g ·kg·1 body weight - day ’, respectively. Similar intakes were found in female paddlers. carbohydrate 7.3 ± 1.1 and protein 2.0±0.3g·kg·1 body weight·day·1. Daily relative contribution to energy from fat was higher than recommended for sports practitioners or sedentary people (< 30 % of daily energy) in both genders (39.1 ± 2.1 and 40.2± 2.9% for men and women, respectively). Nevertheless, this diet with a high fat content (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids) did not seem to influence the paddlers’ blood lipid profile that presented low values for total cholesterol and tryglicerides and high values for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol). Flatwater paddlers’ micronutrient intake was higher than Recommended Dietary Allowances/Dietary Reference Intake (RDA/DRIs), except for folate that is close to DRI values. Further studies are required in order to understand whether this level of fat intake could impair highly trained athletes’ performance and health.

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Samuel Mettler, Christof Mannhart and Paolo C. Colombani

Food-guide pyramids help translate nutrient goals into a visual representation of suggested food intake on a population level. No such guidance system has ever been specifically designed for athletes. Therefore, the authors developed a Food Pyramid for Swiss Athletes that illustrates the number of servings per food group needed in relation to the training volume of an athlete. As a first step, an average energy expenditure of 0.1 kcal · kg−1 · min−1 for exercise was defined, which then was translated into servings of different food groups per hour of exercise per day. Variable serving sizes were defined for athletes’ different body-mass categories. The pyramid was validated by designing 168 daily meal plans according to the recommendations of the pyramid for male and female athletes of different body-mass categories and training volumes of up to 4 hr/d. The energy intake of the meal plans met the calculated reference energy requirement by 97% ± 9%. The carbohydrate and protein intakes were linearly graded from 4.6 ± 0.6–8.5 ± 0.8 g · kg−1 · d−1 and 1.6 ± 0.2–1.9 ± 0.2 g · kg−1 · d−1, respectively, for training volumes of 1–4 hr of exercise per day. The average micronutrient intake depended particularly on the dietary energy intake level but was well above the dietary reference intake values for most micronutrients. No tolerable upper intake level was exceeded for any micronutrient. Therefore, this Food Pyramid for Swiss Athletes may be used as a new tool in sports nutrition education (e.g., teaching and counseling).

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Jennifer C. Gibson, Lynneth Stuart-Hill, Steven Martin and Catherine Gaul

Context:

Adolescent female team-sport athletes are faced with the challenge of meeting nutrition requirements for growth and development, as well as sport performance. There is a paucity of evidence describing the dietary adequacy of this population in respect to these physiological demands. Therefore, the aim of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the nutrition status of junior elite female soccer athletes.

Method:

A total of 33 athletes (15.7 ± 0.7 yr) completed anthropometric assessment, 4-day food records analyzed for macro- and micronutrient intake, and hematological analysis. Energy expenditure was estimated using predictive equations.

Results:

Mean sum of 7 skinfolds was 103.1 ± 35.2 mm, and body-mass index was 22.7 ± 2.7. Mean energy intake was 2,079 ± 460 kcal/day, and estimated energy expenditure was 2,546 ± 190 kcal/day. Of the athletes, 51.5% consumed <5g/kg carbohydrate, 27.3% consumed <1.2g/kg protein, and 21.2% consumed <25% of energy intake from fat. A large proportion of athletes did not meet Dietary Reference Intakes for pantothenic acid (54.5%), vitamin D (100%), folate (69.7%), vitamin E (100%), and calcium (66.7%). Compared with recommendations for athletes, 89.3% and 50.0% of participants had depleted iron and 25-hydroxyvitamin D, respectively.

Conclusion:

A high proportion of players were not in energy balance, failed to meet carbohydrate and micronutrient recommendations, and presented with depleted iron and vitamin D status. Suboptimal nutrition status may affect soccer performance and physiological growth and development. More research is needed to understand the unique nutrition needs of this population and inform sport nutrition practice and research.