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Nutritional Intake in Elite Cross-Country Skiers During Two Days of Training and Competition

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Oliver Shannon


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This study investigated the energy, macronutrient, and fluid intakes, as well as hydration status (urine specific gravity), in elite cross-country skiers during a typical day of training (Day 1) and a sprint skiing competition the following day (Day 2). A total of 31 (18 males and 13 females) national team skiers recorded their food and fluid intakes and urine specific gravity was measured on Days 1 and 2. In addition, the females completed the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire to assess their risk of long-term energy deficiency. Energy intake for males was 65 ± 9 kcal/kg on Day 1 versus 58 ± 9 kcal/kg on Day 2 (p = .002) and for females was 57 ± 10 on Day 1 versus 55 ± 5 kcal/kg on Day 2 (p = .445). Carbohydrate intake recommendations of 10-12 g·kg-1·day-1 were not met by 89% of males and 92% of females. All males and females had a protein intake above the recommended 1.2-2.0 g/kg on both days and a postexercise protein intake above the recommended 0.3 g/kg. Of the females, 31% were classified as being at risk of long-term energy deficiency. In the morning of Day 1, 50% of males and 46% of females were dehydrated; on Day 2, this was the case for 56% of males and 38% of females. In conclusion, these data suggest that elite cross-country skiers ingested more protein and less carbohydrate than recommended and one third of the females were considered at risk of long-term energy deficiency. Furthermore, many of the athletes were dehydrated prior to training and competition.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carr A, McGawley K, Govus A, Andersson EP, Shannon OM, Mattsson S, Melin A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

Year: 2019

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

Pages: 273-281

Print publication date: 01/05/2019

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 1526-484X

ISSN (electronic): 1543-2742

Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc.


DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0411

PubMed id: 29989466


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