Evaluation of Nutritional Intake in Canadian High-Performance Athletes

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Objective:To determine the nutritional intake of Canadian high-performance athletes.Design:Prospective survey study.Setting:Canadian sport center athletes.Participants:Three hundred twenty-four high-performance athletes (114 males and 201 females; mean age 21.3 ± 13 years) from 8 Canadian sport centers participated in the study.Intervention:Subjects prospectively completed 3-day dietary records, reporting all food, fluid, and supplement consumption.Main Outcome Measures:Dietary records were analyzed for total calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients for food alone and food plus supplements for all subjects collectively and according to gender and competitive event.Results:Average daily energy intake was 2533 ± 843 Kcal/day with males consuming more calories than females (2918 ± 927 and 2304 ± 713 Kcal/day, respectively; P < 0.05). Both genders consumed below recommended levels. Carbohydrate, protein, and fat accounted for 53%, 19%, and 28% of daily calorie intake, respectively. Average daily carbohydrate and protein intake was 5.1 ± 1.8 and 1.8 ± 0.6 g/kg body weight, respectively. Protein intake, but not carbohydrate intake, met recommendations. Supplementation significantly increased athletes' energy, total carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake. Of 17 micronutrients assessed, intake ranged between 120% and 366% of recommended daily intake with food alone and between 134% to 680% of recommended daily intake with supplements.Conclusions:Canadian high-performance athletes do not consume adequate energy or carbohydrates. However, their intake of micronutrients exceed current recommended daily intakes, even when supplements are not considered, indicating that athletes make high-quality food choices. Supplementation significantly increased energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient intake.

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