Lithuanian Olympic Basketball Players’ Nutrition during the Training Mezzo-Cycles Designed for Strength Training
Research background and hypothesis. Unbalanced nutritional status, incorrect qualitative and quantitative
content of nutritional and bioactive substances (nutrition value) for athletes in strength and speed sports can have a
negative impact on acid-base homeostasis and physical working performance. Hypothesis – there is a dietary acid-
base balance in the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team players’ food rations.
Research aim was to assess dietary acid-base balance in Lithuanian high-performance basketball players during
the training mezzo-cycles designed for strength training.
Research methods. In the general preparation period, Lithuanian Olympic Team basketball players (n = 52),
aged 18.0 ± 1.9 years, training 197.9 ± 58.7 min a day, 6 days a week on average, were tested. Body composition analysis of athletes was performed using bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) method. Applying the survey method we investigated and assessed the nutritional status of basketball players, possible effect of their dietary intake on potential renal acid load (PRAL) and net endogenous acid production (NEAP).
Research results. The dietary PRAL of more than half (67.3%) of subjects was positive (8.5 ± 49.0 mEq/day).
Basketball players’ protein intake was positively related to dietary PRAL (r = 0.408, p = 0.003). Protein intake of
20.5% of male basketball players on average was 2.6 ± 0.7 g/kg body weight, and their dietary PRAL was 75.5 ±
22.8 mEq/day, NEAP – 128.5 ± 23.7 mEq/day.
Discussion and conclusions. If high-protein diet (protein intake meets 1.8–2.0 g/kg BW) is followed, basketball
players’ nutritional habits should be changed. Athletes are recommended to consume significantly more fresh fruits
and vegetables and/or enrich the normal diet by sodium bicarbonate and/or beta-alanine dietary supplements.
Keywords: basketball, acid-base balance, renal acid overload.
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