Nutrition in Fitness and Sport

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Final Case Study: A Teenage Female Champion

Grace MacMillan

Nutrition for Fitness and Sport

Introduction

Ice hockey is characterized by high intensity intermittent skating, rapid changes in velocity, lengthy duration and frequent body contact (1). The typical player performs for 15 to 20 minutes of a 60 minute game (1). Each shift lasts from 30 to 90 seconds with 4 to 4 minutes of recovery between shifts. The intensity of a particular shift is determined be the duration and the extent of the contribution from aerobic to anaerobic energy systems by the player (1). In order to accommodate the body for these high intensity bursts and length of activity the player must develop muscle strength, power and anaerobic endurance in addition to a good aerobic system (1). Hockey players tend to have a mesomorphic structure and are relatively lean to positively influence their skating performance (1).

For my nutrition analysis I chose an adolescent female hockey player. As far as teenage athletes go, AC has already more than filled her resume with an abundance of accomplishments including a gold medal from the 2012 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship, the 2011 Tier 1 Under 19 U.S. National Championship, the 2010 Under 16 U.S. National Championship and the 2009 Atlantic Challenge Cup in addition to representing Team Nova Scotia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games. As a student at the private hockey prep school of Sattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribauly, Minnesota she is limited to a very specific selection of food on campus as she is a boarding student there.

Female athletes are faced daily with the challenge of meeting the nutrient requirements for growth and development in addition to sport performance (2). Due to the wide range of physiological demands a large proportion of female athletes regularly do not meet DRI’s for a number of macro and micronutrients some of which include vitamin D, folate, vitamin E and calcium (2).

The current research illustrates the challenges that female athletes may face, otherwise known as the “female athlete triad” which include disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis (3). Furthermore, female teenage athletes have found to have relatively low energy intake and inadequate intakes of certain nutrients which are observed to improve seasonally in correspondence to their in-season and off-season, respectively (4).

Assessment

Part A: Objective Data

AC is a 17 year old female who is currently 68.95kg at 1.73m tall and has reported to have a 21% body fat composition, which equates to a normal BMI of 23.

AC communicated the desire to cut weight to 65.77kg, which equates to a normal BMI of 22 by August 1st 2012 in preparation for her next achievement of playing for Team Canada in the Olympics. In the patient’s case it would be more appropriate to use the body fat percentage to measure weight loss because the losses will be in body fat not lean body mass (5).

Fortunately in preparation of this event, AC is required to fill out a daily reflection including food log, physical activity as defined by strength training, cardio and core exercise and personal reflection. Thus, from the data given to me I have chosen to pick 3 weekdays and 3 weekend days to analyze. In summary, in-season she participates twice weekly with a strength training workout for approximately one hour and ice skating (practice) every day for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. As part of school extra circular activities she incorporates basketball 3 times weekly for 45 minutes in addition to games once to twice weekly. During the off-season she strives to maintain 4 days per week of strength training exercise, in addition to skating twice a week and running for approximately an hour each day. The raw data can be viewed in appendix A.

Part B: Analysis of the Data

The analysis of AC’s daily reflection reveals that as most female athletes she does not meet the required amount of energy for her physical...
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