Dietary trends in muscle glycogen repletion among collegiate distance runners

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Tanaka, Jill A.
Landis, William
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Home Economics
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In an attempt to determine the extent to which well-trained endurance athletes practice the dietary recommendations for maximizing muscle glycogen resynthesis, twenty-four collegiate cross-country runners (14 males and 10 females) were chosen as subjects. The athletes kept four-day food and activity records during both a training and competitive period in the regular season. Energy intake was shown to be adequate in both phases. Total calories from carbohydrate, primarily complex, were found to be inadequate (<60%) for male runners and desirable (>60%) for females. Approximately 50% or less of the time carbohydrate was ingested immediately post-exercise, with even far less taken in suggested quantities (-1 g CHO/kg body weight). While the male athletes consumed primarily a combined solid and liquid form of carbohydrate immediately post-exercise, the females chose solid sources. Cereals and other breads were the most popular types of carbohydrate chosen immediately following exercise, in addition to commercial sports drinks/bars which were frequently ingested. An even more unfavorable trend in the distance runners was the infrequency of additional carbohydrate being ingested at two hour intervals following exercise. There were no significant differences in dietary trends between training and competitive phases. Overall these endurance athletes were not practicing the recommended feeding regimen for optimal muscle glycogen restoration.