Nutrient Intake and Body Composition of World Karate Champions: 4 Case Reports
Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the nutrient intake and body composition of elite Japanese karate practitioners.
Methods: Four world champion karate practitioners volunteered as follows: a male kata (forms: pre-established sequences of defensive and offensive techniques and movements) (case 1), a male sparring (case 2), a female kata (case 3), and a female sparring (case 4). Percentage of body fat, fat mass and lean body mass were evaluated using a bioelectric impedance analyzer. Nutrient intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire.
Results: In both male and female athletes, a lower percentage of body fat and higher body height, heavier weight, and lean body mass were found in the sparring practitioners than the kata athletes. None of the athletes took supplements. Each athlete’ diet was modified to increase or maintain Lean body mass. Because all athletes did not reach the recommended dietary allowances for certain vitamins and minerals, we recommended increasing intake levels of vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy products in order to increase micronutrient intakes.
Conclusion: The world karate champions representing Japan have a very low percentage of body fat, especially sparring athletes. The athletes became aware of the importance of a well-balanced diet.