An investigation into the effects of protein supplementation on diet balance in amateur male rugby union players and whether they are necessary for improved perfornance
Davies, Thomas James
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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A study was conducted to determine the affect protein supplementation has on the balance of carbohydrate, fat and protein, in amateur rugby player's diets, and to whether or not they are beneficial to improved performance. Between 15 and 20 male participants, were required. Method: Participants were recruited form UWIC RFC rugby excellence group, as they were regularly involved in weight training programs and provided with nutritional supplementation. The study required each player to complete a four-day diet and exercise diary including intake from supplementation. Participant's body fat and lean muscle mass were also measured using bioelectrical impedance. Results: Out of 18 participants initially involved in the study, 13 were used in the results. Dietary diaries were analysed using Computer software Netwisp, to produce two separate results tables for dietary intake both with and without supplmentation. Percentage contribution of fat, protein and carbohydrate were recorded for each as well as overall calorie intake. Exercise diaries were also analysed and results for daily energy expenditure were identified. Results showed that the average 93kg rugby player to have 17.3% body fat and 82.7% muscle mass, with a daily energy expenditure of 3647 kcal. Dietary intake without supplementation contained 2391 kcal including 26.8% protein, 39.4% carbohydrate, 33.4% fat. Dietary intake with supplementation contained 2919 kcal including 31.6% protein, 38.8% carbohydrate and 29.6% fat. Conclusion: Results indicated that supplementation was beneficial to players as, due to the high levels of energy expenditure, energy intake needed to be increased, in order to maintain weight and improve recovery rates. However, after supplement use players had higher levels of protein than necessary and lower carbohydrate levels. Results showed the players were unaware their diet lacked carbohydrate, and not protein, having negative effects on body composition and energy intake, thus effecting training and performance levels.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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