Eating in the Dugout?: Division I Baseball Athletes' Dietary Intake on Competition Days vs. Non-Competition Days

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Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Washington, D.C.

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Participants will be able to compare and contrast Division I baseball athletes' kcalorie and nutrient intake on competition days compared to non-competition days. Baseball athletes' competitions often last all day, which may make it difficult to meet their nutrient and caloric needs. Historically, Washington State University (WSU) baseball athletes lost weight during the season. At the time of the study, their sports dietitian provided nutrient-dense foods and liquids located in the dugout for the athletes to consume during competition. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine if baseball athletes’ dietary intake differed on competition days and non-competition days. In this study, WSU baseball athletes (N=25) completed 3 to 4 recalls that included at least one competition day, and one non-competition day using the online Automated Self-Administered 24-hour recall system (ASA24). Dietary intake was averaged for competition days and non-competition days. Paired t-tests (reported as mean and SD) and Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests (reported as median and range), were conducted to assess differences in dietary nutrient intake on competition days and non-competition days. Athletes consumed the following nutrients in greater amounts on competition days than non-competition days: kcalories (3145±1298 vs. 2554±808, p=.006), carbohydrates (340±168 vs. 242±94, p<.0001), potassium (3443±1329 vs. 2811 ±970, p=.02), and iron (23 (29) vs. 18 (25), p=0.30). No differences were observed for protein, fat, folate, vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, or zinc intake. These results suggest that having access to nutrient-dense foods and liquids during competition appears to promote increased intake of total kcalories and carbohydrates, which past research has shown to be key in supporting optimal performance and weight maintenance within the athletic population.

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