Energy Availability and Nutritional Intake during Different Training Phases of Wheelchair Athletes.

Hertig-Godeschalk, Anneke; Ruettimann, Belinda; Valido, Ezra; Glisic, Marija; Stoyanov, Jivko; Flueck, Joelle L (2023). Energy Availability and Nutritional Intake during Different Training Phases of Wheelchair Athletes. Nutrients, 15(11), p. 2578. Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI 10.3390/nu15112578

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Optimizing nutritional intake and timing helps athletes to improve performance and long-term health. Different training phases can require varying nutritional needs. In this study, we conducted a descriptive assessment of dietary intake, energy availability (EA), and blood biochemical parameters in elite wheelchair athletes during distinct training phases. Data analyzed in this study were collected as part of a randomized controlled crossover trial exploring the feasibility of probiotics and prebiotic supplementation. Data were obtained from consecutive three-day diaries and blood samples, both collected at four different time points across four consecutive months. We included 14 athletes (mean (standard deviation) age 34 (9) years, eight females, and six males) active in different wheelchair sports. The mean daily nutritional intake (g/kg body mass) for females and males was 2.7 (0.9) and 4.0 (0.7) for carbohydrates, 1.1 (0.3) and 1.5 (0.3) for protein, and 0.8 (0.3) and 1.4 (0.2) for fat. EA did not change across the four time points in either female (p = 0.30) or male (p = 0.05) athletes. The mean EA was lower in female athletes compared to male athletes (p = 0.03). Low EA (≤30 kcal/ kg fat-free mass/day) was observed in female (58 (29) % of days) and male (34 (23) % of days) athletes. Iron deficiency with anemia was observed in two female athletes. Mean vitamin D levels were insufficient (<75 nmol/L). Macronutrient intake, EA, and blood biochemical parameters were suboptimal in this cohort of elite wheelchair athletes, especially in female athletes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Glisic, Marija, Stoyanov, Jivko


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI


[223] Swiss Paraplegic Foundation = Schweizer Paraplegiker-Stiftung ; [134] Swiss Olympic




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2023 14:21

Last Modified:

18 Jul 2023 09:44

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Paralympic macronutrient micronutrient nutrition paraplegic season spinal cord injury tetraplegic




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