A Comparison of the Nutrient Intakes of Macronutrient-Based Dieting and Strict Dieting Bodybuilders

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Sep 1;28(5):502-508. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0323. Epub 2018 May 16.


The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive assessment of the nutritional habits of competitive bodybuilders and compare the nutrient intakes of macronutrient-based dieting and strict dieting individuals. Data from 41 subjects (30 males and 11 females) were used in analyses. Participants completed a comprehensive food frequency questionnaire, and diets were analyzed using a computer system. Males consumed an average of 2,577.2 kcal (SD = 955.1), with an average fat intake of 83.6 g (SD = 41.3), an average carbohydrate intake of 323.3 g (SD = 105.2), and an average protein intake of 163.4 g (SD = 70.4). There were no significant differences between male macronutrient-based dieting and strict dieting bodybuilders when mean intakes were compared for all nutrients, including the macronutrients, selected vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, added sugars, and saturated fat. Females in this study consumed an average of 1,794 kcal (SD = 453.1), with an average fat intake of 58.3 g (SD = 23.1), a mean carbohydrate intake of 217.8 g (SD = 85.9), and an average protein intake of 103.8 g (SD = 35.7). For females, macronutrient-based dieters consumed significantly greater amounts of several nutrients, including protein, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Over half of individuals from all groups consumed less than the recommended amounts of several of the micronutrients. Based on this information, it is recommended that competitive bodybuilders should be advised to take their micronutrition into greater consideration.

Keywords: IIFYM; flexible dieting; micronutrients; nutritional status.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minerals
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamins
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins