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sports nutrition

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Since the first report from the 1968 Olympic Games, many studies have consistently reported poor oral health in elite athletes without any differences regarding socio-economic status or continental location. Poor oral health is an important issue as it has a clear impact on quality of life, confidence, appearance and socialisation. It also has an impact on sport performance and training with impaired preparation for competition. Many causes to impaired oral health can include nutritional diet and carbohydrate supplementation, oral dehydration, depression of various aspect of the immune function due to intense exercise, negative health behaviours, lack of awareness, time and prioritisation.
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Introduction: Iron is an important factor of the energy balance and correlates with serum ferritin. For competitive athletes, ferritin measurements are regularly performed at certified medical laboratories. However, as a laboratory change happened, we questioned the validity of ferritin levels, since unusually high values were measured. The aim of this study is to compare the ferritin values of blood samples in six different laboratories and to evaluate the diagnosis of iron deficiency. Methods: Blood samples from 63 patients with suspected iron deficiency were sent to six laboratories for ferritin measurements.
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Supplement use in able-bodied athletes during major championships was reported to be around 80 to 90%. In contrast, the prevalence of supplement use in Paralympic athletes according to surveys from 2004 and 2012 was lower with around 40 to 58%. This study aimed to investigate the supplement use in Swiss wheelchair athletes. All Swiss wheelchair athletes were asked to complete a retrospective survey on supplement use during training and competition.
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To counter progressive dehydration and thirst, athletes drink during exercise. However, despite decades of scientific research, there is still no conclusive answer regarding how much we should drink to optimize performance. The goal of this review article is to analyze the arguments underpinning contrasting perspectives and to critically analyze the available evidence. It seems that the respective argumentations of contrasting viewpoints are based on a different selective fraction of the available evidence.
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The importance of the carbohydrates for an intense exercise performance is known since at least the 1920s. Many research findings have since then led to development of generic recommendations for the carbohydrate intake before, during and after the exercise. The past years have witnessed, however, a growing understanding that the specific recommendations need to be defined in accordance to the short but also longer-term goals of each athlete.
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The intermittent fasting of Ramadan could affect various aspects of body physiology and biochemistry important to athletic success. Sleep time may be shortened. Disturbance of psychomotor performance, impaired vigilance and slower reactions can be observed particularly during afternoon. Food intake is limited to night-time meals. Well disciplined athletes usually maintain energy balance unless daily energy expenditures are very high. Daytime fluid depletion is inevitable if athletes exercise in the heat.
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Introduction: Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent in world population and growing evidence shows that also athletes are affected. Vitamin D deficiency causes beside bone disorders, musculoskeletal pain, muscle weakness and is associated with many other health disorders. For athletes in particular it may impair training and performance, prolong recovery and increase risk of injury. We therefore analyzed vitamin D levels in Swiss athletes focusing on prevalence according to age, gender, seasonal variations, indoor or outdoor sports, sunscreen use and vitamin D supplementation. Methods: This study was performed in a convenient sample of 655 Swiss Olympic athletes over one year.
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Iron deficiency is frequent among athletes. All types of iron deficiency may affect physical performance and should be treated. The main mechanisms by which sport leads to iron deficiency are an increased iron demand, an elevated iron loss and a blockage of iron absorption due to hepcidin bursts. As a baseline set of blood tests, haemoglobin, haematocrit, mean cellular volume (MCV), mean cellular haemoglobin (MCH) and serum ferritin levels are the important parameters to monitor iron deficiency. In healthy male and female athletes >15 years, ferritin values <15µg/l are equivalent to empty, values from 15 to 30µg/l to low iron stores. Therefore a cut-off of 30µg/l is appropriate.
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Adolescence is triggered by puberty and corresponds to a time of great changes in many fields including biological, psychological, cognitive and social. Participation to a sport activity improves self-esteem, socialisation with peers and physical condition. Yet, it sometimes is associated with suffering, restrictive behaviours and eating disorders when performed at an intensive level. Intensive sport activity during adolescence should take into account young people’s developmental stages as well as their fundamental needs in order to promote a harmonious training. One way to promote such training is to train parents and medical health providers to recognise these specific developmental needs and take them into account.
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