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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


UBEDA, N. et al. Food habits and body composition of Spanish elite athletes in combat sports. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2010, vol.25, n.3, pp.414-421. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: There is a scarcity of information about the dietary intake and food selection of combat sport people. Optimizing nutritional status, body weight, and body composition are key factors for their performance. Aim: The assessment of dietary intake, food habits, and body composition in elite combat sport people. Subjects and methods: 22 sportmen were recruited from the Spanish National Teams of Taekwondo, Judo, and Boxing. Food intake (FFQ), food habits and bodycomposition (DXA and Bioimpedance) were analyzed. Results and discussion: Weight and body composition of the individuals assessed were similar to that previously described, although almost half of them were moderately over their desired competition weight. A lower than the recommended intake of vegetables (77% of individuals), cereals, bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta (73%), while red meat and derivatives intake exceeded the recommendations. Their main preferences were pasta, meat, and cereals. Legumes, vegetables, and fish were their main dislikes. A statistically significant relationship between food preferences and intakes was only observed for legumes, yogurt, and nuts. The athletes reported that reducing the intake of biscuits and confectionery (68% of individuals), high-fat foods (36%), and/or bread (27%) would be a good dietetic strategy for losing weight. None of them reported that voluntary dehydration would be a good strategy for this purpose. Conclusions: food offer to which this sport people have access and their choices are adequate, although the intake of some food groups (vegetables, red meat and derivatives) does not follow the recommendations. Their body weight slightly exceeds their competition weight, what it is frequently found in these sports. Nevertheless, their knowledge about nutrition and dietetics applied to exercise are acceptable.

Keywords : Combat sport; Food habits; Body composition; Food preferences and dislikes.

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