Nutritional intake of Slovenian semi-professional handball players
Keywords:energy intake, macronutrients, nutrition, body composition, handball, team sport
Aim: Handball is a highly popular team sport, both in Slovenia and globally. The performance during team sport matches is influenced by numerous factors, amongst others there is nutrition whose influence is lesser known, particularly since diet is often uncontrolled. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Slovenian handball players, on basis of their anthropometric data and nutritional recommendations, have adequate nutritional intakes of energy and macronutrients.
Methods: Two Slovenian handball teams with male and female players (17 males and 9 females) who are part of the 1A national league, were assessed through a 7-day food diary to define their nutritional intake in three different conditions for males (on their training days, match days and days off) and in two conditions for females (on their training days and days off). Basal anthropometric data were measured by standard methods and the body composition by a bioelectrical impedance scale. The results were statistically analysed with IBM SPSS programme, using the repeated measures ANOVA model.
Results: Both female and male handball players show insufficient amounts of energy intake, based on the most recent nutritional intake recommendations for team sports. Moreover, the intake of carbohydrates is too low for both female and male handball players, and the intake of fat is too high.
Conclusion: The analysis of the initial nutritional intake and the comparison with the recommendation shows that the male handball players do not have an optimal diet with proper intake of both energy and macronutrients. The energy intake is insufficient also in female players. Adjusting the nutritional intake in a way to make it more balanced and tuned to the training schedule, would support a better health and performance.
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