Dietary patterns, gastrointestinal complaints, and nutrition knowledge of recreational triathletes

Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;51(4):690-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/51.4.690.


Dietary habits, nutrition knowledge, and gastrointestinal complaints were evaluated in 21 female and 50 male triathletes; 30 completed hemoccult slides to determine the frequency of gastrointestinal bleeding. Triathletes trained 11 h/wk with weekly distances of 5.3, 116.5, and 40.9 km for swimming, biking, and running, respectively. Mean daily energy intake averaged 9058 and 11,591 kJ for women and men, respectively; 53.8% of the energy was from carbohydrates. Mean intakes of vitamins and most minerals exceeded the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), but many had intakes below RDAs for some nutrients; greater than 60% had low zinc and copper intakes. Because 39% took a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement, some had intakes 200-600% above the RDA. Although there were notable misconceptions about nutrition, nutrition knowledge was high. Upper-gastrointestinal complaints, reported by 50%, included bloating and abdominal gas; the incidence of positive hemoccult slides was 27%. The relation among performance, dietary patterns, nutrition knowledge, and gastrointestinal function remains to be established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Sciences / education*
  • Occult Blood
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires