An investigative study into the nutritional preparation of endurance athletes during a typical training week and comparatively, a competition week
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Background: An endurance athlete will train specifically for their event, this is very individual and depends on several factors. These factors will include level of competition, the support they get for their training and knowledge of the type of training they require to maximise their abilities. The training carried out will also depend on where this knowledge is from and whether it is evidence based. It is then the ability of the athlete to interpret this and translate it into an action to benefit them. The same principles apply for nutritional preparation. Terms such as “Carbohydrate Loading” and “Training Low” have been investigated increasingly in recent years. Recent studies have shown research may be known to the athlete but not necessarily carried out. Methods: To investigate the knowledge known and where this was gained for nutritional manipulations. Through a cross sectional study, 45 endurance runners between the ages of 18 and 40 were included to gain an understanding as to whether these athletes utilise this knowledge. The athlete’s food and hydration regimes were analysed to gain understanding as to whether this knowledge was used to create, purposeful and significant difference between the two weeks. Results: A significant increase of carbohydrate intake was observed across a variety of the events and performance levels. However, it is unknown whether this was an intended manipulation of Carbohydrate Loading or Training Low. There was no significant area for the source of this knowledge, however the majority reported to have learnt through Research based literature. Conclusions: The study highlights further questions, with very little significance in the findings. This is where a larger participant cohort could be utilised for future study to gain wider, more in depth understanding of athlete’s interpretation of these on nutritional manipulations. It would be further benefit to investigate whether the athletes believe these manipulations would benefit them.
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