The General Nutrition Practices of Competitive Powerlifters Vary by Competitive Calibre and Sex, Weight, and Age Class

King, Andrew
Kwan, Kedric
Jukic, Ivan
Zinn, Caryn
Helms, Eric
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Journal Article
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PURPOSE: To characterise self-reported nutrition practices and beliefs of powerlifters.

METHODS: Actively competing male (n = 240) and female (n = 65) powerlifters completed a cross-sectional online survey of self-reported nutrition practices across the competitive cycle, within specific competitive phases, and hard and easy training days. Data are presented as number (n) and percentage (%) of all powerlifters practicing a given strategy followed by a % of responses reporting various practices or beliefs within this strategy. Differences in categorical sub-groups (sex, age, and weight class; and competitive calibre) were analysed with a chi-square test and denoted where significant (p ≤ 0.05).

RESULTS: Most powerlifters reported following a specific diet long-term (n = 203, 66.6%) of which If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM)/flexible dieting was most common (n = 159, 78.3%). Over half reported introducing a special diet for a competitive phase (n = 162, 53.1%), of which IIFYM/flexible dieting was most followed for competition preparation (n = 80, 63%) and off-season (n = 48, 71.6%). Compared to normal dietary intake, most reported eating more on harder training days (n = 219, 71.8%) and refraining from eating less on easier training days (n = 186, 61%).

CONCLUSIONS: IIFYM/flexible dieting is commonly followed by powerlifters to support performance and body composition goals. Females seemed to report more often restricting energy and dieting for body composition reasons than males. Powerlifters tailor their energy intake on harder training days to the higher training demands but refrain from reducing energy intake on rest/easier training days.

Athletes , IIFYM , Nutrition practices , Powerlifting , Resistance training , Athletes , IIFYM , Nutrition practices , Powerlifting , Resistance training , 32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences , 3210 Nutrition and Dietetics , Nutrition , Prevention , 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics , Nutrition & Dietetics , 3210 Nutrition and dietetics , 4202 Epidemiology
European Journal of Nutrition, ISSN: 1436-6207 (Print); 0044-264X (Online), Springer, 62(8), 3297-3310. doi: 10.1007/s00394-023-03233-6
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