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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2023 January-February;182(1-2):32-42

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.22.04877-X


language: English

Nutritional and supplementation strategies of Spanish natural elite bodybuilders in precontest

Henar GONZÁLEZ-CANO 1, Pablo JIMÉNEZ-MARTÍNEZ 1, 2 , Eneko BAZ-VALLE 1, 3, Carlos CONTRERAS 4, Juan C. COLADO 2, Carlos ALIX-FAGES 1, 2, 5

1 Strength Training and Neuromuscular Physiology Research Center, National Strength and Conditioning Institute (ENFAF), Murcia, Spain; 2 Research Group in Prevention and Health in Exercise and Sport (PHES), University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 3 Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Leioa, Spain; 4 Faculty of Health Sciences, Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; 5 Applied Biomechanics and Sport Technology Research Group, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

BACKGROUND: Bodybuilders modify their nutritional strategies during precontest phase. This study aimed to explore for the first time the nutritional and supplementation strategies of high-level amateur (AMA) and professional (PRO) Spanish men’s physique bodybuilders during precontest phase.
METHODS: Eleven elite male bodybuilders (6 PRO and 5 AMA) - of which 4 obtained the world champion title - enrolled in this study. All participants were drug tested before each competition (i.e., urine and/or polygraph analysis) and winners after the event (blood drug testing) by Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD/WADA Spain). In this cross-sectional study, participants completed a modified 34-items questionnaire related to their dietetics habits, nutritional strategies and supplement consumption throughout their precontest phase. Participants recorded their food intake over a 24-hour period in grams. Dietary intakes of PRO and AMA competitors were statistically compared.
RESULTS: t-tests revealed that PROs reported significantly (P<0.05) more age, kcal/day at the start of the preparation and weight at the middle than AMAs. Pearson χ2 tests revealed (P<0.05) that PROs perceived higher carbohydrates intake and used more carbohydrates supplements. Besides, while most of PROs followed a “clean diet,” most of AMAs “adjusted macronutrients” (P=0.036).
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term low caloric deficit diets (i.e., 20-28 weeks) jointly with high protein and carbohydrate diets are the main strategies in precontest phase of natural elite AMA and PRO bodybuilders. PROs are older, heavier and trend to diet for longer periods than AMAs. PROs also perceived a highest ingest of carbohydrate and consume larger quantities of sport supplements (e.g., carbohydrates).

KEY WORDS: Hypertrophy; Resistance training; Nutritional sciences; Dietary supplements

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