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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.16 - 2008

Dietary intake differences between volleyball and handball women athletes of the Olympic national teams

Sousana K. Papadopoulou1, Sophia D. Papadopoulou2, Dimitrios Skoufas2, Athanasios Yiannakos2, Konstantinos Natsis3
1Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Technological Educational Institution of Thessaloniki,
2Department of Physical Education & Sports Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,
3Department of Anatomy, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


The purpose of the study was to estimate differences in dietary intake between the basic members of the Greek Volleyball and Handball Women Athletes of the Olympic National Teams. The participants were 12 (mean age 26.25 ± 2.61 years) volleyball (VB) and 12 (26.00 ± 3.41 years) handball (HB) women athletes, all in the main team. Food intake was analysed using the “Food Processor” nutrition program. VB players were significantly taller (p<0.01) and heavier (p<0.05) than HB players. There were no differences in body mass index (BMI) values and body fat (BF) levels between sports. VB athletes had significantly lower energy intake (1183 ± 134Kcal) compared to HB athletes (1751 ± 407Kcal) (p<0.001). Both VB and HB players consumed lower amounts of carbohydrates and proteins than recommended. VB athletes consumed significantly less carbohydrates, proteins and fats (1.91 ± 0.51 g/Kg BW, 0.84 ± 0.20 g/Kg BW and 0.57 ± 0.12 g/Kg BW respectively) than HB athletes (2.89 ± 0.82 g/Kg BW, 1.26 ± 0.31g/Kg BW and 1.03 ± 0.34 g/Kg BW, respectively) (p<0.001). VB athletes did not meet recommended daily allowances values (RDA) for any mineral and most vitamins, with the exception of vitamins A and B3.  HB athletes did not meet the RDA values for all minerals, except for P and for vitamins A, B2, B12, biotin, pantothenic, folic and D. Both VB and HB players had inadequate consumption of the food groups bread-cereals, meat-products and milk. In addition, VB players presented inadequate consumption of fruits. These results indicate that elite VB and HB female athletes of the National Olympic teams had insufficient energy, macro- and micro-nutrient intake that potentially inhibits both physical and mental top performance.
Key words:

 volleyball, handball, elite athletes, energy, nutrient intake

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