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Nutritional Intake, Sports Nutrition Knowledge and Energy Availability in Female Australian Rules Football Players

1
Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Melbourne, VIC 3125, Australia
2
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Melbourne, VIC 3125, Australia
3
Geelong Football Club, GMHBA Stadium, Geelong, VIC 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11050971
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 28 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Support for Athletic Performance)
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Abstract

This study aimed to assess nutritional intake, sports nutrition knowledge and risk of Low Energy Availability (LEA) in female Australian rules football players. Victorian Football League Women’s competition (VFLW) players (n = 30) aged 18–35 (weight: 64.5 kg ± 8.0; height: 168.2 cm ± 7.6) were recruited from Victoria, Australia. Nutritional intake was quantified on training days using the Automated 24 h Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24-Australia), and sports nutrition knowledge was measured by the 88-item Sports Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire (SNKQ). The risk of LEA was assessed using the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q). Daily mean carbohydrate intake in the current investigation was 3 g⋅kg−1⋅d−1, therefore, below the minimum carbohydrate recommendation for moderate exercise of approximately one hour per day (5–7 g⋅kg−1⋅d−1) and for moderate to intense exercise for 1–3 h per day (6–10 g⋅kg−1⋅d−1) for 96.3% and 100% of players, respectively. Daily mean protein intake was 1.5 g⋅kg−1⋅d−1, therefore, consistent with recommendations (1.2–2.0 g⋅kg−1⋅d−1) for 77.8% of players. Daily mean calcium intake was 924.8 mg⋅d−1, therefore, below recommendations (1000 mg⋅d−1) for 65.5% of players, while mean iron intake was 12.2 mg⋅d−1, also below recommendations (18 mg⋅d−1) for 100% of players. Players answered 54.5% of SNKQ questions correctly, with the lowest scores observed in the section on supplements. Risk of LEA was evident in 30% of players, with no differences in carbohydrate (p = 0.238), protein (p = 0.296), fat (p = 0.490) or energy (p = 0.971) intakes between players at risk of LEA and those not at risk. The results suggest that female Australian rules football players have an inadequate intake of carbohydrate and calcium and low sports nutrition knowledge. Further investigation to assess the risk of LEA using direct measures is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate intake; team sports; female athletes; nutritional recommendations; nutrition knowledge carbohydrate intake; team sports; female athletes; nutritional recommendations; nutrition knowledge
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Condo, D.; Lohman, R.; Kelly, M.; Carr, A. Nutritional Intake, Sports Nutrition Knowledge and Energy Availability in Female Australian Rules Football Players. Nutrients 2019, 11, 971.

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