Athlone Institute of Technology
Research from Athlone Institute of Technology
Dietary Intake of Gaelic Football Players during Game Preparation and Recovery.It is well established that dietary intake can influence performance and modulate recovery in field-based invasion team sports such as soccer and rugby. However, very limited research currently exists examining dietary intake of Gaelic football players. This research aimed to examine the dietary intake of Gaelic football players 2 days prior to competition, on game day, and for 2 days post-competition. A five-day paper-based food diary was completed by 45 players (25 elite and 20 sub-elite). Preliminary inspection of diaries eliminated 11 participants, and analysis of Goldberg cut-offs identified 1 player as an under-reporter, leaving 33 players in the final analysis. Playing level had no effect on energy, carbohydrate, or fat intake. Average intake of energy was 2938 ± 618 kcal.day-1, carbohydrate was 3.7 ± 1.42 g.kgbm-1.day-1, and fat was 1.34 ± 0.61 g.kgbm-1.day-1. However, elite players consumed 24.1% more protein than sub-elite players (2.2 ± 0.67 vs. 1.8 ± 0.62 g.kgbm-1.day-1). Regardless of playing level, players consumed inadequate amounts of carbohydrate to support optimal performance and recovery and consumed protein and fat in line with general sport nutrition guidelines. Given the unique demands placed on Gaelic football players, it may be necessary to develop nutrition guidelines specific to Gaelic football. Additionally, the design and implementation of Gaelic football-specific education-based interventions may be necessary to address the highlighted nutritional inadequacies.