Dietary Considerations for Elite Athletes

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 7903

Special Issue Editor

Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Linnaeus University, 351 95 Vaxjo, Sweden
Interests: low energy availability (LEA); eating disorders; reproductive dysfunction; relative energy deficiency in sports (REDS); performance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to address a broad spectrum of topics that enable us to better understand the effects of diet and nutrition on elite athletes’ health and exercise performance. It has long been established that the nutritional status of athletes can influence their physiological function and, in recent years, there has been proliferating interest in the potential for nutrition to enhance athletic performance and recovery. The nutritional intake of elite athletes is a critical determinant of their health, athletic performance and ability to compete both physically and mentally.

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight relevant topics regarding nutritional support for elite athletes, including, for example, dietary patterns, periodization, macronutrient distribution, micronutrient intake, and meal timing during training and competition.  We welcome the submission of both original research articles and up-to-date reviews.

Dr. Anna Melin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • elite athletes
  • health
  • performance
  • nutrition
  • diet
  • meal timing

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 299 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Nutrition among Female Floorball Players of Extra-Class Teams from Poland and the Czech Republic during the Preparation Period for the League Season
by Agnieszka Białek-Dratwa, Zuzanna Krzywak, Wiktoria Staśkiewicz-Bartecka, Jiří Velecký, Artur Cirocki, Mateusz Grajek and Oskar Kowalski
Nutrients 2024, 16(4), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16040544 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
The study aimed to assess the frequency of food intake and to compare the consumption of female extramural players training floorball in Poland and the Czech Republic during the preparation period for the league season. In total, 43 players training floorball in senior [...] Read more.
The study aimed to assess the frequency of food intake and to compare the consumption of female extramural players training floorball in Poland and the Czech Republic during the preparation period for the league season. In total, 43 players training floorball in senior clubs participated in the study, including 21 from the Polish and 22 from the Czech clubs. The research tool was based on the standardised questionnaire for the Examination of Eating Behaviours and Opinions on Food and Nutrition (QEB). The study also analysed body composition using the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) method, and the research tool was a TANITA MC-780 S MA body composition analyser (Tanita Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). The Polish women’s floorball players had lower results in body fat percentage (FM) and muscle mass (MM) than the Czech team. The mean FM in the players of the Polish team was 18.6% ± 5.4, and the mean MM was 45.8 kg ± 4.2. In the Czech team players, these figures were 19.8% ± 5.4 and 47.8 kg ± 4.2. Despite the similar value of mean BMI in both teams, the highest BMI in the case of female athletes from Poland (17.7), indicating underweight, and the highest BMI in female athletes from the Czech Republic (26.9), indicating overweight, were significant. The study showed differences in both body composition analysis and dietary patterns of the Czech and Polish players. The Czech women’s floorball players had a higher muscle mass and body fat percentage than Polish floorball players. Furthermore, differences in diet were observed among the players of the Czech team compared to the players of the Polish team. The Czech women’s floorball players consumed a slightly higher amount of healthier products, such as whole-grain products. The Polish players took in more meat, processed products and fruit juices. This study is one of the first to assess the nutrition of those involved in floorball. There is a need for further research that focuses on the specifics of the discipline, the exercise capacity of the players and points during the season that require nutritional support. This knowledge would help develop effective nutritional strategies and plan and implement appropriate nutrition education for this group of athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Considerations for Elite Athletes)
11 pages, 2408 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Six-Gram D-Aspartic Acid Supplementation on the Testosterone, Cortisol, and Hematological Responses of Male Boxers Subjected to 11 Days of Nocturnal Exposure to Normobaric Hypoxia
by Kamila Płoszczyca, Miłosz Czuba, Agnieszka Zakrzeska and Robert Gajda
Nutrients 2024, 16(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16010076 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1529
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of D-aspartic acid (DAA) supplementation during a simulated altitude protocol on the hormonal and hematological responses in athletes. We hypothesized that DAA supplementation would contribute to an increase in the luteinizing hormone (LH), [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of D-aspartic acid (DAA) supplementation during a simulated altitude protocol on the hormonal and hematological responses in athletes. We hypothesized that DAA supplementation would contribute to an increase in the luteinizing hormone (LH), free, and testosterone and a greater increase in hematological variables. Sixteen male boxers participated; they were randomly assigned to an experimental group (DAA) or a control group (C) and underwent 14 days of supplementation, 6 g/day of DAA. Both DAA and C participants were exposed to normobaric hypoxia (FiO2 = 15.5%; 2500 m) for 10–12 h a day over a period of 11 days. The results showed that DAA had no significant effect on resting, LH, or the testosterone/cortisol ratio during the training camp. Hypoxic exposure significantly (p < 0.05) increased red blood cell and reticulocyte counts as well as hemoglobin and hematocrit concentrations in both groups, but DAA had no significant effect on these changes. In conclusion, we found that DAA supplementation at a dose of 6 g/day for 14 days does not affect the testosterone, cortisol, or hematological responses of athletes during. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Considerations for Elite Athletes)
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13 pages, 668 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Validity and Reliability of a German General and Sports Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire for Athletes and Coaches (GSNKQ-AC)
by Helen Bauhaus, Pia Malin Jensen, Hans Braun and Mario Thevis
Nutrients 2023, 15(22), 4844; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15224844 - 20 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Despite the availability of nutritional recommendations, studies have reported inadequate nutrition in athletes. The existing literature highlights the importance of the nutritional knowledge of both athletes and coaches in influencing athletes’ food choices and behavior, as well as its direct and indirect impact [...] Read more.
Despite the availability of nutritional recommendations, studies have reported inadequate nutrition in athletes. The existing literature highlights the importance of the nutritional knowledge of both athletes and coaches in influencing athletes’ food choices and behavior, as well as its direct and indirect impact on athletes’ performance and health. To adequately assess nutritional knowledge, monitoring via valid and reliable questionnaires is required. As no questionnaire tailored to German-speaking athletes and coaches exists, this study aimed at developing a new General and Sports Nutritional Knowledge Questionnaire for Athletes and Coaches (GSNKQ-AC). The development followed a literature-based, ten-step validation approach. The initial questionnaire (63 items) was revised and reduced to 29 items in the final version after conducting construct verification in the target group (n = 84 athletes and coaches), evaluating content validity by a panel of nutrition experts (n = 8), verifying face validity by think-out-loud interviews in the target group (n = 7), and conducting classical test theory for item reduction analysis (n = 53). For the final GSNKQ-AC, internal consistency, calculated as Cronbach’s alpha, was 0.87. Students with a focus on sports nutrition (n = 31) scored significantly higher than athletes and coaches (n = 53), revealing good construct validity (77% vs. 62%, p < 0.001). Test–retest reliability (n = 42, matched pairs) showed a Spearman’s correlation coefficient of r = 0.61 (p < 0.01). The brief GSNKQ-AC can be used for status quo or longitudinal assessment of nutritional knowledge among athletes and coaches to reveal gaps and ensure purposeful planning of educational interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Considerations for Elite Athletes)
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14 pages, 1209 KiB  
Article
Effects of an Individualized vs. Standardized Vitamin D Supplementation on the 25(OH)D Level in Athletes
by Chiara Tuma, Arne Schick, Nele Pommerening, Hans Braun and Mario Thevis
Nutrients 2023, 15(22), 4747; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15224747 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 3565
Abstract
Vitamin D is crucial to the health and performance of athletes. Although the exact vitamin D requirements for athletes have not been established, maintaining a 25(OH)D level of at least 40 ng/mL is considered beneficial. This randomized controlled intervention study aimed to determine [...] Read more.
Vitamin D is crucial to the health and performance of athletes. Although the exact vitamin D requirements for athletes have not been established, maintaining a 25(OH)D level of at least 40 ng/mL is considered beneficial. This randomized controlled intervention study aimed to determine whether an individual loading dose formula for vitamin D supplementation is more effective than standardized supplementation and suitable enough for athletes to meet a target value of 40 ng/mL. In a 10-week supplementation study conducted during the winter months in Germany, 90 athletes with insufficient vitamin D levels (25(OH)D < 30 ng/mL) were randomly assigned to receive either a universal dose of 2000 IU/day of vitamin D or a loading dose of 4000 IU/day, followed by a maintenance dose of 1000 IU/day. The total 25(OH)D concentration was measured from dried blood spots at three time points: at baseline, at the computed date of 40 ng/mL, and after the 10-week period. Additionally, a vitamin-D-specific questionnaire was issued. On the day when 25(OH)D blood concentrations of 40 ng/mL were calculated to prevail, the individualized group had a significantly higher 25(OH)D level than the standardized group (41.1 ± 10.9 ng/mL vs. 32.5 ± 6.4 ng/mL, p < 0.001). This study demonstrated that the examined formula is suitable enough for athletes to achieve a 25(OH)D concentration of 40 ng/mL. This indicates that a personalized approach is more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach in restoring adequate vitamin D levels in athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Considerations for Elite Athletes)
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