Consumption of Calcium and Protein Supplements in Female Athletes aged 15-18 years
de Beaux, Amy
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background - Calcium consumption by teenage girls is low at a time critical to achieving peak bone mass (PBM) and prevent osteoporosis in later life. Sales of dairy products are decreasing and sales and availability of protein supplements are increasing. There are conflicting views about the role of high protein diets on bone health. Methods - A cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the calcium intake and consumption of protein supplements amongst female athletes (15-18 years) using a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Results -The mean calcium intake was 757.59mg, which was lower, but not significantly, than the RNI (800mg) with 58% consuming less than the RNI. 13% consumed less than the LRNI for calcium and they consumed less dairy products and breakfast cereals than those who exceeded the RNI, Protein supplements were consumed by 29%. The mean protein intake from supplements was 7.14g. Total protein intake in this group, from their diet plus the supplements, was significantly greater than those whose protein came from their diet alone. Conclusions – Teenage athletes are likely to achieve most lifestyle factors to reach PBM except calcium intake often due little or no intake of calcium rich foods. Additional consumption of excess protein as supplements may also be detrimental to their bone health. Research is required to identify both the nutritional needs and dietary advice to help this population meet their PBM.
BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics
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