Relationships between dietary intake, body composition, blood pressure and serum lipids throughout the training and competition seasons of university football players
Janowiak, Ramona Lee
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This study was designed to examine the changes and interrelationships among dietary intake, body composition, blood pressure and serum lipids of NCAA Division I university football players throughout the training and competitive seasons. Data collection occurred at pre-, mid-, and post-season intervals. The aforenamed variables were assessed in terms of cardiovascular benefit derived from high-intensity anaerobic exercise. Eleven volunteers were initially recruited; however, complete data were available for only 7 players. Dietary analysis revealed intakes slightly high in total and saturated fats and carbohydrate intake below that which is recommended for athletes. No significant relationships were found between dietary factors and biochemical values. There was a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure, LDL:HDL ratio (p < .01) and a significant rise in HDL-cholesterol (p < .001) at mid-season. Since dietary intake remained unchanged throughout the study, these alterations may be attributed to the high intensity, anaerobic activity performed at mid-season. However, the post-season return of these indices to near pre-season values indicates the cardiovascular risk benefit derived from anaerobic activity is short term. The sample size used in this study, however, limits the application of these results to all varsity football athletes.