Dietary pattern of long-distance runners and its effect on their body composition and performance
Background and Aims: Evaluation of a player’s dietary intake is important both for training and research. Along with body composition it provides an insight into their positive adaptation to training. This study aimed at assessing the effect of the nutritional profile of Indian long-distance runners on their body composition and performance. Material and Method: Dietary intake of 53 Indian long-distance runners was assessed using 24 hours dietary recall method. Body composition was analyzed using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Performance was assessed through indirect measurement of VO2 max using Astrand protocol. Results:
BMI was correlated positively with energy and fat intake (p < 0.05). Sum of skinfolds was correlated positively with fat intake and energy intake (only among males) (p < 0.05). Fat % was correlated positively with energy intake, carbohydrate intake, fat intake (only among females) (p < 0.05) and negatively with VO2 max though not significant. Fat free mass % was negatively associated with energy and carbohydrate intake (p < 0.05). Association of VO2 max was significantly positive with protein, calcium and iron intake and negative with carbohydrate intake (p > 0.05). Energy intake was significantly positively correlated with carbohydrate
intake for the group as a whole and with fat intake specifically in females (p < 0.05). Fat free mass had significant negative correlation with energy, carbohydrate intake, and fat intake in females. Inverse association of fat free mass % and VO2 max was also observed though non-significant in both males and females. Conclusions: Dietary intake has an impact on both body composition and VO2 max. Body weight, fat, and fat free mass distribution in long distance runners can be managed through diet and can
form an important part of athletic development.