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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 August;59(8):1339-45

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09386-1


lingua: Inglese

Alpine junior world ski championship: nutritional habits and performance in elite skiers

Umile G. LONGO 1, 2 , Francesco SOFI 3, 4, Monica DINU 3, Alessandra BERTON 1, Giulia CIPRIANI 1, Carlo MASSARONI 5, Emiliano SCHENA 5, Vincenzo DENARO 1

1 Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy; 2 Centro Integrato di Ricerca (CIR), Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy; 3 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4 Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Onlus, Florence, Italy; 5 Laboratory of Measurement and Biomedical Instrumentation, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy

BACKGROUND: Young athletes need to consume an appropriate diet in order to maintain health and optimize growth and athletic performance. We evaluated nutritional habits of junior elite skiers.
METHODS: Alpine junior elite skiers (N.=68; 42 males and 26 females; age range 16-20 years) coming from 20 countries were recruited during the Alpine Junior World Ski Championship, Roccaraso, Italy. Nutritional habits were assessed using a 3-day food record and the NHANES Food Frequency Questionnaire. Data were compared with nutritional recommendations and Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for athletes.
RESULTS: During the training period, the energy intake in both males and females was significantly lower with respect to estimated energy needs. Carbohydrate intake expressed in terms of grams per kilogram of body weight did not meet the RDAs in both groups (4.19 and 5.15 g/kg in males and females, respectively). Protein and fat consumption exceeded the RDAs with a protein intake of 2.34 g/kg in males and 2.10 g/kg in females, and a fat intake >35% of total daily calories. During competition days, both males and females increased carbohydrate intake to 6.23 and 8.11 g/kg respectively, reaching the RDAs. Protein intake increased to 2.56 and 3.14 g/kg in males and females, respectively, and fat intake slightly decreased, still exceeding the RDAs.
CONCLUSIONS: Junior elite skiers reported a low intake of carbohydrates and a high intake of protein and fat. Nutritional counselling should be given to athletes to maintain their health and improve their physical performance.

KEY WORDS: Nutrition assessment; Skiing; Sports; Exercise; Athletic performance

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