The diet and hydration of sportsmen get better during competition, a new study has found.
Elena Díaz Ereño in her thesis entitled, 'The nutritional analysis of the ingestion of competition sportspersons in the period prior and posterior to the competition,' determined the composition of the ingestion of a group of volunteer skiers, and correlated them with their anthropometric blood parameters.
The participants in the XXX Andrés de Regil BBK Trophy Mountain Trek, were observed for the study.
In the two-timed routes the competitors skied for a total distance of 19 km, with several differences in level and rising to 2,200 metres.
The 21 male skiers with an average age of 37 answered questions on health and physical activity and made a note of their diet over the 4 days of the competition (before, during and after).
Also, before and after the competition the blood pressure and heartbeat for each sportsperson were jotted down, apart from blood and urine analyses.
It was found that the analysis prior to the competition was within normal parameters, while after the trial there was significant blood changes in the erythrocyte and leukocyte counts, in the muscle enzymes and in certain proteins.
The nutritional composition of the ingestion of the skiers, compared to the recommended one, showed imbalances in energy, carbohydrates, lipids and certain micronutrients that improve on the day of the competition.
Diaz observed that the best competition times were related to a greater proportion of carbohydrates and less of lipids in the diet.
She insisted after the study that the appropriate energy contribution is related to less inflammation and muscular damage and to higher performance in competition sports.
Hence, she claims that an increase the consumption of cereals, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and lean meat around competition periods could be useful, as the macronutrients in these meet the energy needs.