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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 May 27


language: English

A case study on the effect of professional dietary counseling: elite basketball players eat healthier during competition days

Anastasia TSOUFI 1, Maria Ι. MARAKI 2, Leonidas DIMITRAKOPOULOS 3, Konstantinos FAMISIS 4, Maria G. GRAMMATIKOPOULOU 1

1 Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Alexander Technological Educational Institute, Thessaloniki, Greece; 2 Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece; 3 Directorate of Secondary Education, Thessaloniki, Greece; 4 Department of Physical Education & Sports Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece


BACKGROUND: Literature suggests that dietary intake of elite athletes may differ between training and competition days. In addition, despite the importance of nutrition in sports and the popularity of basketball, studies on the diet of basketball players are scarce. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess dietary intake and diet quality in training and competition days in a team of elite basketball players receiving daily professional nutritional counseling.
METHODS: One elite basketball team (15 players) participating in Euroleague volunteered for the study. The team employed a certified dietitian, responsible for providing individualized nutritional evaluation and counseling, dietary planning and supervision of the diet of all the players. Dietary intake was assessed using 24-h recalls and the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) was then calculated.
RESULTS: All players exhibited adequate (i.e., >80) HEI score [raw and adjusted for energy intake (EI)], on both training and competition days. Although daily energy, carbohydrate and protein intakes were greater during training compared to competition days [26 (21.7, 26.4) vs. 19.5 (19.3, 22.1) MJ, 7.6±1.5 vs. 6.8±0.9 g/kg of body weight (BW) and 2.6±0.6 vs. 2.2±0.2 g/kg BW, respectively; all p<0.05], HEI score (raw and adjusted for EI) was lower in training compared to competition days [92.9 (82.1, 93.2) vs. 94.0 (94.0, 94.0) and 89.7 (88.4, 89.7) vs. 92.7 (91.7, 92.8), respectively; all p≤0.001] due to lower total grains, whole grains and total vegetables’ consumption and greater saturated fats consumption (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Elite basketball players receiving daily nutritional counseling by certified sports dietitians exhibit adequate diet quality, with the highest possible observed during competition days.

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