Academic journal article VAHPERD Journal

Body Composition, Weight Preferences, and Dietary Macronutrient Intake of Summer College Baseball Players

Academic journal article VAHPERD Journal

Body Composition, Weight Preferences, and Dietary Macronutrient Intake of Summer College Baseball Players

Article excerpt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess body composition, weight preferences, and adequacy of dietary energy and macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) intake of elite college baseball players (N = 15) during a summer competitive playing season. Percent body fat was estimated from skinfold measurement, a survey assessed weight preferences, and a 3-day dietary intake record assessed home game day dietary intake. Outcomes of this study indicate: (a) participants had low to moderate body fat percentage, ranging 7-16%, (b) desired goal playing weight was 104[+ or -]6% (M [+ or -] SD) of current weight, 83% of players wanted more muscle mass, and (c) the dietary intake of baseball players needs improvement in an effort to optimise health and physical performance. Mean carbohydrate intake of 4.2 [+ or -] 0.8 gm/kg and daily meal frequency of 3.7[+ or -]0.7 were inadequate, mean fat intake of 1.4[+ or -]0.3 gm/kg was excessive. Furthermore, although mean dietary protein intake of 1.7[+ or -]0.6 gm/kg was adequate to meet the needs of competitive baseball athletes, 40% of athletes unnecessarily supplemented with protein. Mean energy intake of 36[+ or -]6 gm/kg was adequate to meet energy demands of a competitive baseball summer season. Findings from this study have practical application for professionals working with baseball athletes.

Body composition, weightpreferences, and dietary macronutrient intake of summer league college baseball players

The athleticism of baseball has been overshadowed by media attention regarding steroid use among Major League Baseball Association (MLBA) players. In a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Allan (Bud) H. Selig, Commissioner of the MLBA, reported his commitment to "the idea that baseball must have a program on performanceenhancing substances that is consistent with accepted international standards for sport..." (2004, 11). In January 2005, Mr. Selig and MLBA Executive Director Donald M. Fehr announced a tentative policy on steroids and performance enhancing substances that includes random drug testing throughout the playing- and off-season, disciplinary penalties for positive test results, and broadening the list of banned substances (MLB.com 2005, [paragraph]1 - 4). The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prevents use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by college athletes through random drug testing and expulsion of athletes from NCAA sport participation for positive results (NCAA Banned-Drug Classes, n.d., [paragraph] 3-10).

With increased attention and regulation associated with banned substances, baseball athletes are seeking legal performance enhancing alternatives (Adams, 2005). It is well recognized that optimal nutrition, including appropriate selection of food and drink, and timing of intake, can promote athletic performance and enhance recovery from exercise (Manore, Barr, & Butterfield, 2000). The macronutrients, including carbohydrate, protein, and fat, serve as energy fuels for the body and substrates for biochemical reactions and cellular body functions. Carbohydrate, as glucose, is the preferred fuel for the body during physical activity. Because carbohydrate stores are limited, consuming carbohydrate throughout the day in adequate amounts is necessary to replenish glycogen, the storage form of glucose (Coleman, 2005). Thus, adequate intake of carbohydrate is essential to optimize physical performance. Furthermore, exercise results in acute and chronic alterations in protein metabolism throughout the body. Protein needs are higher for athletes compared to non-athletes. Additionally, it is recognized that protein and amino acid ingestion can alter muscle adaptive response during recovery from exercise (Gibala and Howarth, 2005). Finally, and importantly for athletes who have difficulty "keeping weight on" during the competitive season, fat serves as a major energy source to meet energy demands of physical activity (Jonnalagadda, 2005). …

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