Authors: Alexandru Maftei1, Roxana Maria Hadmaş2, Ștefan Adrian Martin3
“1 Licensed dietician, H2O Team Târgu Mureș, Romania
2Pediatrics I Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Romania
3Department of Physiology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Târgu Mureș, Romania
Background. Menu structure is an important element in swimmers’ specific activity in order to maintain an optimal physical development pattern and to facilitate the recovery process between training sessions.
Aims. The aim of the study was to identify swimmers’ nutritional knowledge and to establish a relationship between food ingestion and specific physical activity.
Methods. A cross sectional study was conducted in Târgu Mureș, Romania, between 19th of March and 20th of July 2018, on a sample of 24 athletes consisting of 11 female and 13 male swimmers enrolled in national competitions. In order to determine swimmers’ food intake and preferences we applied a 19-item questionnaire and a 5 day food diary.
Results. Statistically significant differences were recorded regarding the increased intake of processed meat foods (p=0.014, r=0.4947, CI=0.1014 to 0.7542) and sweets (p=0.0425, r=-0.4173, CI=-0.7088 to 0.003916) both at breakfast and during lunch. Also, the results showed an increase of refined products and sweets consumption in snacks during a day (p=0.0305, r=0.4422, CI=0.03446 to 0.7237). At the same time, significant statistical associations were identified between the athletes’ age and fruit intake both before (p=0.0207, r=0.4693, CI=0.06862 to 0.7396) and after the training session (p=0.007, r=0.5356, CI=0.1562 to 0.7773).
Conclusions. The obtained results will influence physical activity in energy terms, providing a higher training session difficulty due to an inappropriate food intake before the practice and an increased fatigue level reported by the athletes. Establishing a nutritional scheme for the athletes during different training phases of the season is required.
Key words: swimming, food intake, food preferences, age