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Pre and post-exercise nutritional practices of amateur runners in the UK: are they meeting the guidelines for optimal carbohydrate and protein intakes?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tom Clifford



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The aim of this study was to investigate amateur runners’ knowledge and practices of the current sports nutrition guidelines for pre and post-event carbohydrate (CHO) and protein (PRO) intakes.Data was collected from 100 amateur runners using an online survey. Participants provided demographic information, a dietary recall of their intake 24 (n=49) and 1–4 h before and immediately after a long-distance run (≥60–90 min in duration) for analysis of CHO and PRO contents (n=82). They also answered questions about their knowledge of the current CHO and PRO recommendations and their primary sources of nutrition information.CHO intake 24-h pre-exercise (3.3±1.7 g kg day−1) was lower than the currently recommended intakes of 10–12g kg−1 for effective CHO loading (P=0.001). Average CHO intake 1–4 h pre-exercise (1.2±0.6 g kg−1) were within the recommended amounts>1.0 g kg-1 (P>0.05); however, only 60% of participants consumed≥1.0 g kg−1. Post-exercise CHO intakes (1.1±0.8 g kg−1) were not different from the recommended guidelines≥1.0 g kg−1 (P=0.190) but only ~ 48% of participants achieved this target. Average PRO intake post-exercise exceeded the minimum recommended guidelines (≥0.25g kg−1) by ~ 0.15 g kg−1 (P=0.001); however, only ~ 75% of participants consumed≥0.25 g kg−1. Overall, knowledge of the current CHO and PRO intakes pre and post-exercise were poor, with <5% of participants selecting the correct answers.This study suggests that amateur runners are largely unaware of the current sport nutrition guidelines and preexercise intake of CHO (24 h pre) is sub-optimal.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLeman LA, Ratcliffe K, Clifford T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sports Sciences For Health

Year: 2019

Volume: 15

Pages: 511-517

Online publication date: 25/02/2019

Acceptance date: 11/02/2019

Date deposited: 25/02/2019

ISSN (print): 1824-7490

ISSN (electronic): 1825-1234

Publisher: Springer Milan


DOI: 10.1007/s11332-019-00537-1


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