SPIN 2008: Nutritional habits of Canadian Olympians

Here are my notres from a presentation by Kelly Anne Erdmann from the Canadian Sport Centre Calgary on her research into the nutritional habits of Canadian Olympians

Take home messages

  • Sources of dietary information for athletes
  1. Family and friends
  2. Strength trainers
  3. Team mates
  4. Coaches

…14.  Dietitians!!!

  • Men and women 300 kcal below optimal level based on energy expenditure estimates
  • For women <300 kcal below optimal results in elevated risk of amenorrhea

Dietary considerations: macronutrients

CHO 50-55%

  • Low % re optimal is due to higher overall caloric intake
  • 6 g/kg body weight is ideal
  • Endurance athletes needs more than 6 g/kg; at 20+ hrs of training 10 g/kg

PRO 15-35%

  • 1.2-1.4 g/kg
  • Adequate protein intake

FAT 20-25%

  • 1 g/kg
  • Adequate fat intake

Quantity of caloric intake is sufficient for many athletes
Timing of intake needs more careful monitoring to optimize refueling and recovery strategies

Dietary considerations: Micronutrients

Low levels: B9 and Ca

  • Folate (B9) for immune system
  • Calcium for women

Above “tolerable” levels: B3, D, Mg, Zn

  • B3 (Niacin) = facial flushing
  • D no known side effects
  • Magnesium diarrhea
  • Zinc part or iron-copper-zinc negative feed-forward cycle

High performance considerations

Awareness of CHO deficiency signs

  • Poor recovery
  • Heavy muscles
  • Lower lactate production and loss of power at peak aerobic power and higher
  • Loss of lean body mass
  • Increase of fat mass (CHO needed to burn fat)
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