Nutrition in sports: present situation and prospects

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor M.A. Kuznetsova1
Dr.Med., Professor S.V. Klochkova1
S.V. Lavrinenko2
Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor D.B. Nikityuk2
1
I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the RF, Moscow
2Federal Research Center for Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety, Moscow

Keywords: elite sports, nutritional status, food for particular nutritional goals.

Background. Nutrition may be described as one of the key factors to determine physical development, health, adaptability and bodily tolerance to a variety of negative impacts and factors. Sport diets are commonly known to contribute, among other factors, to the training, rehabilitation and competitive process success and the working capacity building and maintenance systems [2]. According to the relevant sports statistics, today only 15-28% of the leading athletes (qualified at least Masters of Sports) are tested with acceptable health rates; whilst 50% of the sport elite are diagnosed with a wide variety of chronic non-contagious diseases and associating transitional immune-deficiencies [7, 11]; plus 20-35% and up to 65% of the active and retired athletes, respectively, are diagnosed with different gastrointestinal and metabolic system disorders [5, 6].

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of different special foodstuffs and nutrients for sport-specific diets.

Methods and structure of the study. Medical and research support of the national elite sports is ranked among the top priorities by the government since every nation takes pride and hope in the relatively small group of its elite athletes. Virtually every top-ranking athlete shall be trained on an individualized basis to secure, among other things, good adaptability (adaptation resource) being developed and controlled based on good immune system, anti-oxidizing process control systems, xenobiotics metabolism control ferments, fair level of apoptosis and other factors. It is common knowledge that diets in the modern professional sports shall be controlled and perfected in view of the bodily fitness phases (competitive, rehabilitation, precompetitive and basic training ones) and many individual specifics including age, gender and other factors.

It is paramount to secure that the chemical compositions of the diets are designed to meet the physiological needs for the relevant nutrients, as provided by the standards of the valid Group-specific Rated Physiological Needs for Energy and Nutrients in the Russian Federation (2008) classified on the age-, gender- and physical-activity-specific basis [10]. Caloric supplies of the diets need to be managed versus the key nutrients conditional on the balance of amino acids, recommended ratios of fatty acids and minerals i.e. due balances of key nutrients, microelements and vitamins being controlled.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the athletes’ diets shall be duly designed to include the rated foodstuffs, nutrients and combined elements; and customized to every specific phase of the process cycle (i.e. the competitive, rehabilitation, precompetitive and basic training phases). The diets shall be designed to secure due effects of the foodstuffs and nutrients on the metabolic process controls to facilitate the biological synthesis of the metabolic process humoral control agents (including catecholamines, prostaglandins, cordicosteroids etc.) and their positive effects [3]. As provided by the commonly accepted formula of reasonable nutrition, a modern diet shall include 55-60% of hydrocarbons, 10-15% of proteins and at most 30% of fats (for the habitual loads), with the relevant sport-specific and individual adjustments for elite athletes [3].

As far as the modern assumptions on the vitamins and mineral agents in the sport diets are concerned, opinions in the sport communities are still rather contradictory albeit not always supported by facts [4]. Most of the analysts tend to believe that the highest risks for health are associated with the low levels of potassium, phosphorus and some other microelements (including iron, copper and cobalt). The high sensitivity of the sport diets to potassium levels is explained by the fact that the systemic high-intensity physical loads tend to activate synthesis of mineral-corticoids that claims potassium and may easily drain its inflow to the body [12]. Furthermore, increased release of phosphorus may be due to the so-called “phosphate buffer” activity triggered by the shifts in the bodily reduction-oxidation balance as a result of physical loads. Iron and some other microelements (particularly those critical for the blood-production function) may be short in supply due to the growing disorders in their digestion under physical loads that may even provoke the so-called sports anemia [12].

It is commonly assumed nowadays that diets shall be designed to ensure 4-5 meals per day of high-energy foods customizable to the energy costs of the training/ competitive process to meet the bodily demand for macro- and microelements [4]. It was found that the reasonably designed diets with versatile high-energy foodstuffs and nutrients making up 3000 plus kcal per day may secure the necessary and sufficient supply of vitamins [10]. It was also found that extra vitamin-mineral premixes are recommended and beneficial for the sporting groups subject to a variety of energy-specific weight-control diets (to scale down or maintain the body mass, particularly in the weight-categorizing sports like boxing, wrestling etc.) plus for the habitual vegetarians among the athletes [8]. Daily nutrition schedules are also important for modern sports. It is commonly assumed that meals shall be taken up to 4-5 times a day to secure better digestion of the nutrients [1]. Lipid levels are recommended to be scaled down in the diets in precompetitive periods with the elementary hydrocarbon level being reasonably increased so as to avoid hypoxemia due to the growing secretion of insulin [12].

A range of standard diets customizable to physical loads, age, gender and other factors is offered today for the amateur and junior athletes [9]; albeit they may not be applied indiscriminately to elite athletes who are recommended to be served on an individual basis [9].

Study results and discussion. A research team of the Moscow-based Federal Research Center for Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety has developed and tested a new “NutriSport” multilevel test system to diagnose nutritional deficiencies and optimize the athletes’ diets to improve their adaptation resource, sport form and competitive progress. The new test and diet system offers a variety of special individual diets for elite athletes customizable to their personal needs – rated and analyzed by the high-tech physicality, adaptability and nutritional status test methods.

Based on the tests, the top-ranking athletes are offered the following:

  • Individualized sport-, age-, load-, and training phase-specific diets (variable training, precompetitive, competitive and rehabilitation phases);
  • Mental status correction actions and practices;
  • Sport form adjustment actions and practices including training-simulator-assisted practices; and
  • Individual weekly diets.

Benefits of the new system have been proved in practice and verified by the athletes’ competitive progress in different events.

Conclusion. The study data and tests show benefits of the special diets for elite athletes designed to form and improve their adaptability resource, health, working capacities and, hence, their competitive accomplishments.

References

  1. Aghajanyan N.A., Shabatura N.N. Bioritmy, sport, zdorovye [Biorhythms, sports, health]. Moscow: Fizkultura i sport publ., 1989, 208 p.
  2. Aghajanyan N.A., Polataiko Y.A. Ekologiya, zdorovye, sport [Ecology, health, sports]. Moscow: Ivano-Frankovsk: Plai publ., 2002, 304 p.
  3. Azizbekyan G.A., Nikityuk D.B., Pozdnyakov A.L. et al Teoreticheskie predposylki k razrabotke individualnogo pitaniya sportsmenov [Theoretical background to development of individual nutrition for athletes]. Voprosy pitaniya, 2009, vol.78, no.2, pp. 73-77.
  4. Virovets O.A. O povyshennykh poteryakh makro- i mikroelementov pri zanyatiyakh sportom i tselesoobraznosti ikh kompensatsii biologicheski aktivnymi dobavkami [On increased losses of macro- and microelements in sports and appropriateness of their compensation with biologically active additives]. Voprosy pitaniya, 2009, vol. 78, no. 2, pp.67-73.
  5. Dembo A.G. Vrachebny kontrol v sporte [Medical control in sports]. Moscow: Meditsina publ., 1988, 279 p.
  6. Dubrovskiy V.I. Reabilitatsiya v sporte [Rehabilitation in sports]. Moscow: Fizkultura i sport, 1991, 206 p.
  7. Mokeeva E.G. Immunnye disfunktsii i ikh profilaktika u vysokovalifitsirovannykh sportsmenov. Avtoreferat dokt. Dis. [Immune dysfunction and its prevention in highly skilled athletes. Doct. diss. Abstract]. St. Petersburg, 2009, 40 p.
  8. Kodentsova V.M., Vrzhesinskaya O.A., Nikityuk D.B. Vitaminy v pitanii sportsmenov [Vitamins in athletes’ diet]. Voprosy pitaniya, 2009, vol. 78, no.3, pp. 67-77.
  9. Nikityuk D.B., Pozdnyakov A.L. Primenenie antropometricheskogo podkhoda v prakticheskoy meditsine: nekotorye kliniko-antropologicheskie paralleli [Anthropometric approach in practical medicine: some clinical and anthropological parallels]. Voprosy pitaniya, 2007, vol.76, no.4, pp.26-31.
  10. Normy fiziologicheskikh potrebnostey v energii i pischevykh veschestvakh dlya razlichnykh grupp naseleniya Rossiyskoy Federatsii. Metodicheskie rekomendatsii MR 2.3.1.2432-08 [Norms of physiological needs in energy and nutrients for various groups of Russian population. Methodical recommendations MR 2.3.1.2432-08]. Electronic fund of legal and normative technical documentation. 2008, 41 p. Available at: http://docs.cntd.ru/document/1200076084. (Date of access: 28.11.2017)
  11. Oleinik S.A., Gunina L.M., Seyfulla R.D. et al Sportivnaya farmakologiya i dietologiya [Sports Pharmacology and Dietology]. Moscow - St. Petersburg - Kiev: Dialektika, 2008, 134 p.
  12. Pokrovskiy A.A. Rekomendatsii po pitaniyu sportsmenov [Athletes’ dietary recommendations]. Moscow, 1975, 30 p.

Corresponding author: lavrinenko.sem@yandex.ru

Abstract

The study overviews the present situation with sport nutrition, specifies priority issues for discussion and analyzes progress opportunities in this area. Due nutrition is increasingly recognized as one of the key conditions for the athletes being healthy and successful in sports since the modern training systems claim growing energy costs. Sport researchers have developed efficient diets for different sports, with special foodstuffs of high biological value being increasingly applied in the high-calorific diets. The study offers an analytical overview of the available literature on the special foodstuffs and diets applicable in the sport systems and new developments in this field. The Federal Research Center for Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety has developed and tested a new “NutriSport” multilevel test system to diagnose nutritional deficiencies and optimize the athletes’ diets to improve their adaptation resource, sport form and competitive progress. The new test and diet system offers a variety of special individual diets for elite athletes customizable to their personal needs – rated and analyzed by the high-tech physicality, adaptability and nutritional status test methods. Benefits of the new system have been proved in practice and verified by the athletes’ competitive progress in different events.