Dietary Intake of Amateur Bodybuilding Athletes Around Polokwane Municipality in Limpopo Province, South Africa

  •  Sylven Masoga    
  •  Sefora H. M. Makuse    
  •  Makoma M. Bopape    


OBJECTIVE: To determine the dietary intake of amateur bodybuilding athletes around Polokwane municipality in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

DESIGN: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study in which purposive sampling was used to recruit 51 participants out of 65 registered part-time competitive bodybuilders at three training gyms around Polokwane. Dietary information was collected using a modified 24-hour-recall questionnaire on three different days, which was validated by the modified Food Frequency Questionnaire.

SETTINGS: The study took place at three gyms that enrolled these part-time athletes, all of whom were registered with the International Federation of Bodybuilding in South Africa (IFBBSA). Data were collected during the off-season period.

RESULTS: Macronutrients: All the athletes consumed energy and carbohydrates below the daily recommendations of the International Society for Sports Nutrition (ISSN) with mean values of 129 ± 36.7 KJ/kg and 3.9 ± 0.9 g/kg respectively. Furthermore, 78% and 94% of the athletes consumed protein (1.3 ± 0.5 g/kg) and fat (0.8 ± 0.4 g/kg) below the daily recommendations, respectively. Vitamins: Most of the athletes took vitamins C (53%); B1 (82%) and B6 (82%) within the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) while the intake of vitamins A (69%) and E (72%) were below the recommendations. While 88% of the athletes consumed above the EAR for vitamin B12, only 41% and 17% took vitamins B2 and B6 above the Upper Tolerable Limit (UL). Minerals: Most of the athletes consumed phosphorus (94%), iron (88%), zinc (78%), magnesium (71%) and selenium (61%) within the EAR. The proportions of bodybuilders who consumed minerals below the EAR were 86% for calcium, 4% for phosphorus, 10% for iron, 19% for zinc, 23% for magnesium and 37% for selenium.

CONCLUSION: The macronutrient intake of bodybuilders around Polokwane is mostly below recommendations, but consumption of micronutrients is mostly within the recommendations. Therefore, the dietary intake of these bodybuilders especially for macronutrient intake is sub-optimal to support their competitive activity.

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