Effects of Sports Nutrition Education on Athletic Performance and Iron Status in High School-Aged Youth Athletes
Marni E. Shoemaker, Zachary M. Gillen, Brianna D. McKay, Jean Ann Fischer, Christina Hansen, Nicholas A. Bohannon, Sydney M. Gibson, Karsten Koehler and Joel T. Cramer
Journal Title:Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Food Science
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an online sports nutrition curriculum on athletic performance and iron status in high school-aged male and female athletes. A repeated-measures design evaluated forty-three males (n=18) and females (n=25). Athletic performance and biomarkers of iron status were measured before and after participating in an eight-week online sports nutrition curriculum. Performance tests included vertical jump height and power (VJPP and VJH, respectively), broad jump (BJ), pro-agility (PA), L-cone (LC), 20-yard-dash (20YD), and push up strength and power (PPUF and PPUPP, respectively). Concentrations of ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and hemoglobin (Hb) were reported from capillary blood samples. Dietary recalls were collected as part of the first curriculum lesson. There were no changes in any measurement from pre- to post-curriculum (p=0.070 – 0.977). As expected, males were greater than females for VJH, VJH·kg-1, VJPP, VJPP·kg-1, BJ, BJ·kg-1, PA, LC, 20YD, and ferritin concentrations (p<0.001 – 0.039), but there were no sex differences for PA·kg-1, LC·kg-1, 20YD·kg-1, PPUF , PPUF ·kg-1, PPUP , PPUP ·kg-1, Hb, Hb·kg fat-free mass (FFM)-1, ferritin·kg FFM-1, sTfR, and sTfR·kg FFM-1(p=0.075 – 0.952). While males met most recommendations, females were below recommendations for energy, carbohydrate, protein, and iron intakes. Although the sports nutrition education did not directly enhance athletic performance or iron status, high school-aged female athletes may benefit from sports nutrition education to encourage dietary intakes that fall within recommended ranges.