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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.41 - 2015
ARTICLE – abstract

Impact of energy intake and balance on the athletic performance and health of
top female volleyball athletes

Sophia D Papadopoulou
Laboratory of Coaching and Sport Performance, Department of Physical Education & Sports Science,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


The aim of the study was to examine the impact of adequate energy intake and energy balance on the athletic performance and health of top female volleyball (VB) athletes. Female VB athletes present energy needs at an average of 50% higher than basal metabolic requirements, with a daily energy expenditure of 2400-4200 kcal (10.080-17.640 kJ). A high-level female VB player, needs about 37.5-50 kcal/kg of body weight (BW) on a daily basis, rising by 20-50% during high intensity training and competitive seasons. The athletic dietary intake should contain 58-60% carbohydrates (CHO), 15-16% proteins and 25-28% fat. More specifically, 6-10g/kg BW carbohydrates, 1.4-2g/kg BW proteins and 1.7-2.4g/kg BW fat are recommended. Even though micro-nutrients are not a source of energy, they play a significant role in its production. Studies on selected female VB athletes have demonstrated inadequate dietary energy intake, with deficiencies in macro-nutrients (CHO) and micro-nutrients (vitamins C, D, Ca, Iron, Zinc, Mg). Female athletes with long-lasting energy deficiencies are at risk for muscle mass loss, increase of injuries, reduction of basal metabolism, high fatigue, female athletic triad syndrome etc. Preventing and treating inadequate muscle fuelling through a well-balanced diet is highly significant. In conclusion, the lack of appropriate energy availability has negative consequences on female athletes‟ both athletic performance and health, particularly in adolescent girl athletes. Dietary guidance and further education of elite female VB athletes is imperative, in order to optimize their athletic performance and protect their overall health status.

Key words:

volleyball, top athletes, female, energy intake, energy balance, performance, health

Full article:

Impact of energy intake and balance on the athletic performance and health of  top female volleyball athletes

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