Perceived energy compensation following various sports: an age and sex comparison. Preliminary observations

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Following periods of physical activity, it is not uncommon for exercisers to increase their energy intake as a reward deemed ‘earned’. Consumers' awareness of the energy within food and expended from exercise has previously been found to be limited. Therefore, the aim was to investigate whether habitual exercisers (50 adults and 49 children from 5 sports clubs) were able to conceptualise the energy expenditure (EE), following 1 h of their regular sports training, into a quantifiable amount of perceived energy compensation (PEC) in the form of food (chocolate) or drink (sports drink). Mean percentage accuracy for the PEC against EE matched < 30% (±29%), a significant underestimation irrespective of sex or sport. Percentage accuracy failed to significantly correlate to age. These findings indicate a necessity to improve nutrition education surrounding the energy costs of exercise relative to the energy contained within foods/drinks for both adults and children.

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