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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Aug;40(8):827-34. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0100. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Dietary intake habits and controlled training on body composition and strength in elite female volleyball players during the season.

Author information

a ImFINE Research Group, Department of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Science-INEF, Technical University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
b Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Haro Volleyball Club, Nutrition Centre of La Rioja, 26200 Haro, La Rioja, Spain.
c Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.
d Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Basque Country (UPV-EHU), 01007 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
e Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Deusto, 20012 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain.
f Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Center for Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Stari DIF, Deligradska 27, 11000, Belgrade, Serbia.


The purpose of this study was to assess dietary intake of elite female volleyball players (EFVPs, n = 22) during the first 11 weeks of the competitive season. Further, we compared findings for total energy intake and specific macronutrient distribution with the established recommendations for high-intensity athletes. Subjects also engaged in periodized training and we assessed changes in body composition (BC) and strength. Twenty-two EFVPs had dietary intake (7-day dietary recall and food-frequency questionnaire), BC (body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, fat mass, muscle mass), and 1-repetition maximum (1RM) strength (bench press, military press, back squat, power clean, clean and jerk, pull-over) assessed at baseline (T0, before preseason) and 11 weeks later (T11). Athletes consumed less total kilocalories and carbohydrates (CHO) compared with established recommendations (total kilocalories: 40.7 ± 5.2 kcal/(kg · day)(-1) vs.


50-80 kcal/(kg · day)(-1); CHO: 4.3 ± 0.6 g/(kg · day)(-1) vs.


5-8 g/(kg · day)(-1)). Further, subjects consumed greater protein (2.1 ± 0.4 g/(kg · day)(-1)) compared with recommendations (1.6-1.8 g/(kg · day)(-1)) and greater fat (36.1 ± 4.6% of total kilocalories) than recommendations (20%-35% of total kilocalories). There were improvements (p < 0.05) in BC from T0-T11 (body fat percentage: 17.9% ± 4.2%-16.8% ± 3.6%, -4.7% ± 7.4%; fat mass: 12.7 ± 4.2-11.9 ± 3.8 kg, -4.0% ± 9.2%; muscle mass: 42.8% ± 3.4%-43.3% ± 3.0%, +1.3 ± 3.1%) and 1RM strength (bench press: 39.1 ± 4.5-43.4 ± 4.9 kg; +11.4% ± 9.3%; clean and jerk: 29.7 ± 6.3-34 ± 5.8 kg; +17.7% ± 23.8%); however, there was no change (p > 0.05) in BMI or military press and pull-over. Back squat (p = 0.054; +33.0% ± 83.7%) and power clean (p = 0.056; +26.2% ± 49.0%) increases approached significance. Our findings indicate that EFVPs improved BC and strength despite a dietary intake different from recommendations. This is possibly due to different substrate utilization during exercise in females versus males, thus new recommendations should be considered for high-intensity athletes, which are sex-specific.


apport alimentaire; dietary intake; elite players; entraînement à la force; fatigue; joueurs de niveau élite; nutrition sportive; sports nutrition; strength training; volleyball

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