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ENERGY REQUIREMENT OF AN ATHLETE – Association of Sports, Nutrition and Fitness Sciences
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ENERGY REQUIREMENT OF AN ATHLETE

The appropriate energy requirement for an athlete is one that strikes a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure such that body mass and body composition are maintained at a level consistent with good health and optimal athletic performance (e.g. Gymnast – low energy intake small lean body).

The energy allowance as recommended by Satyanarayan (NIN, 1985) is as follows,

  • Warm up and light exercise 5 kcal/min
  • Active exercise 7 kcal/min

The energy requirement at a physiological level for a reference sportsman /sportswomen is 3600 kcal/d and 2900 kcal/d.

THE ENERGY REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC SPORTS ACTIVITIES

SOURCE: NIN, 1985.

SPORTS kcal/kg body wt/d
Gymnast 52-68
Athletes (Sprint + Middle distance runner) 55-70
Long Distance / Marathon runners 65 –80
Skiing 62-80
Rowing 60-80

 

GENERAL GROUPINGS OF SPORTS EVENTS FOR SUGGESTING ALLOWANCES

GROUP Average body weight (kg) Kcal/kg/day Total

Kcal/day

Type of activity
1 80-90 (80+) 70 6000 Power events of higher weight category:

Heavy weight lifting, boxing, wrestling

2 65 (60-70) 80 5200 Endurance events:

Marathon, long distance running, swimming, walking.

3 65 (60-70) 70 4500 Team events and power events of middle weight categories:

Hockey, football, volley ball, basket ball, tennis, track cycling.

4 60 60 3600 Events of light weight category:

Gymnastics, table tennis and yachting.

5 60 50 3000 Skill games:

Shooting, archery.

 

SOURCE: NIN, 1985

Energy density and Nutrient density of a food preparation is important and needs to be considered in an athlete diet.  Energy density of a diet refers to the amount of energy per volume or per weight while the nutrient density refers to the amount of nutrients in relation to energy i.e. per 10 mega Joules.

 

Athletes need excess of calories depending on type of events; sports to sports, in the same sports- season to season; different time gap  before the event, during and after the event, nutrition varies so much that it is essential that athletes’ nutrition should be individualized for optimum results.

An effective diet must contain protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, liquids and roughage. Of the total caloric intake, a certain proportion should be derived from each of the three food nutrients.

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