Comparison of Nutrient Intake between Japanese Female Elite and Collegiate Karate Players
Most published data on the physical and physiological profiles of karate athletes is based on studies of male athletes and data on female athletes is rare. The purposes of this study were: 1) to collect baseline data on nutrient intake in order to advise athletes regarding nutrition practices that may enhance performance, and 2) to compare nutrient intake of elite and collegiate karate athletes. Thirtyfive female black belt karate athletes volunteered to participate in this study. They were divided into 2 groups: 20 athletes who were members of the national team (elite athletes) and 15 collegiate karate athletes (collegiate athletes). The elite athletes showed significantly higher mean lean body mass and significantly lower body fat and fat mass than the collegiate athletes. The elite athletes showed significantly higher energy intake and more nutrient intakes than the collegiate athletes. There were no significant differences in diet compositions between the elite and collegiate athletes. The elite athletes showed all micronutrient intakes were above 100% of the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or Adequate Intake (AIs), whereas the collegiate athletes showed micronutrient intakes below 100% of the EAR or AIs for potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A and C. Thus, we advised collegiate athletes to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates and protein. To attain these goals, it is desirable to increase the amount of meals by increasing the intake levels of grains, vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy products, lean meat and fish.