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Article Title

IMPACT OF A PROFESSIONAL NUTRITION PROGRAM ON A FEMALE CROSS-COUNTRY COLLEGIATE ATHLETE: CASE STUDY

Abstract

Dhwani S. Soni, Jason D. Wagganer & Majid M. Abdul

Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

The most basic building block for an endurance athlete is sports-specific training. One very important aspect that is often overlooked in a training program is caloric intake. However, a proper caloric intake can have an impact on body fat percent (%fat) and bone mineral density (BMD). PURPOSE: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effect of a professional nutrition program on %fat and BMD in a track and field female athlete. METHODS: A 20-year-old female track and field athlete at a Division I University who was at the lower end of normal body weight range and exhibited very low %fat performed a baseline Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) test prior to attending a four-week off-campus professional nutrition program. After the 4-week professional nutrition program, the subject continued to follow the nutrition advice from the program on her own. In an effort to assess short- and long-term effects, DXA scans were performed at 4-week (immediately post nutrition program), 8-week and 16-week intervals. Total, the subject performed four DXA scans at the completion of this 16 week study. RESULTS: The professional nutrition program increased the caloric intake for the female in this study. At the 4-week time point caloric intake increased from 2,751 to 3,157 calories, but at 8- and 16-week the caloric intake had returned closer to pre-professional nutrition program intake values, 2,643 and 2,817. BMD increased at the 4-week, 1.192cgm/cm2 to 1.197gm/cm2, and 8-week time point, to 1.206gm/cm2. However, the 16-week time point showed a lower value, 1.169gm/cm2, compared to baseline. %fat increased at the 4-week time point from 5.1 to 6.7, then decreased at 8-week to 5.7 followed by a slight increase to 6 at 16-week. CONCLUSIONS: The professional nutrition program in this study appeared to be effective in temporarily improving %fat and BMD. The increase in caloric intake during the nutrition program possibly produced a short-term increase in %fat, which consequently could have acted to elicit the increase in BMD (peaking at 8-week). However, the long-term effects of the nutrition program appeared to dissipate as BMD decreased at 16-week and %fat decreased (8-week) and plateaued (16-week).

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