ISSN: 1899-1955
Human Movement
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
 
3/2017
vol. 18
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Influence of nutrition and genetics on performance: a pilot study in a group of gymnasts

Alessandra Amato
1
,
Alessia Sacco
1
,
Alessandra Macchiarella
1
,
Valentina Contrò
1
,
Emilia Sabatino
1
,
Claudia Galassi
1
,
Patrizia Proia
1

1.
University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
Online publish date: 2018/02/26
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Purpose
Energy requirements in sports performance are affected by numerous factors: physical characteristics, age, genetic basis, sports discipline. The Food and Nutrition Board recommended nutrition based on age, height, and body weight gain in relation to physical activity. Some genetic factors, such as the PPAR-encoding gene, play a key role in metabolism. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of specific snacks on performance.

Methods
Seventeen girls aged 10–14 years practising artistic gymnastics were enrolled. A carb or protein/carb snack was provided before the training, and a questionnaire was administered at the end. In addition, saliva samples were collected for genetic analyses.

Results
Most girls represented the CC genotype (65%), while a small part had the GC (23%) and GG (12%). The average BMI equalled 20.05 ± 2.8 kg/m2 in the group with the CC genotype, 19.6 ± 2.8 kg/m2 with the GC genotype, and 20.2 ± 2.8 kg/m2 with the GG genotype. The questionnaire showed that 59% of girls experienced a performance improvement after eating a carb snack; slightly different results were observed after the intake of a protein/carb snack: 47% felt more energy and 12% more fatigue.

Conclusions
This is a preliminary study that should be deepened by increasing the number of subjects, as well as diversifying the type of snacks administered and increasing the time of the study. It is important to be mindful of eating habits and lifestyle in order to prevent the onset of overweight.

keywords:

genetics, performance, nutrition, gymnasts

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