Nutritional Status and Physical Development of High-Performance Combat Athletes in Lithuania
Background. Adequate nutrition is inseparable from athletes’ optimal physical development and achieved sports
performance. Preparing for the Olympic Games athletes’ nutrition must meet certain requirements. Only under
appropriate nutrition conditions athletes are enabled to maximize their adaptation to physical loads. Hypothesis:
nutrition of Lithuanian high performance athletes in combat sports is adequate. Research aim was to assess nutrition
profile and physical development of Lithuanian high performance athletes in combat sports.
Methods. During the competition preparation period of 2012, the actual diets of Lithuanian elite boxers
(n = 14), and the Greco-Roman wrestlers (n = 29) were tested and evaluated. Body composition parameters and
physical development of combat athletes were assessed using BIA tetra - polar electrode method. Athletes’ actual
diets were established using the actual dietary survey method.
Results. Muscle and fat mass indexes of boxers and Greco-Roman wrestlers, 7.5 ± 3.8 and 5.4 ± 2.0 respectively,
show that effective complex preparation measures ensure optimal body condition status of athletes. Nevertheless, the
diets of combat sport athletes do not meet the requirements: irrational use of proteins, not enough carbohydrates and
polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D, B 1 , PP, minerals, manganese,
zinc, calcium and copper, too much intake of fat, saturated fatty acids and cholesterol.
Conclusion. The existing diets of Lithuanian elite combat sports athletes cannot ensure their maximal
adaptation to physical loads and must be optimized, individualized and adjusted, adding dietary supplements with
extra carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and in exceptional cases, nutritional supplements with essential amino acids.
Keywords: high sports performance, combat sports, boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, athlete nutrition, nutrition profle.
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