Dietary record-keeping was used to determine intake of food, fluid, alcohol and nutritional supplements in 35 male canoeists during the 24 hours prior to, the three days of and day following the 1998 Dusi Canoe Marathon. Control data were obtained from 13 male, age-matched sedentary control subjects during the three days of the event. These data were coded and analysed using a computerised dietary analysis programme. Changes in body mass were used to assess hydration status. In the canoeists, mean total daily energy consumption from a combination of diet, liquid and supplement consumption over the 5-day period, ranged from 14.0 ±0.70 MJ to 14.6 ±1.45 MJ and was significantly higher (p<0.05) than the mean daily energy intake of the sedentary control subjects (range: 11. 7 ±0.87-12.7 ±1.64). Carbohydrate (CHO) supplementation was reported in 34.3 % of canoeists, while 37.1 % reported using vitamin supplementation. In the canoeists, relative mean protein intake exceeded 1.75 g/kg/d, CHO intake was less than 5.8 g/kg/d and mean fat intake comprised 32.6 % of total kilojoule intake over the 5-day period. A loss of body mass was apparent in 22.8% of the canoeists following the 3-day event and the mean percentage of dehydration was 1.9 ±1.1. There was no apparent incidence of overhydration. Alcohol usage occurred in 74. 3% of the canoeists and 30.8% of the controls during the 5-day race period. The findings of this study indicate that participants in this multi-day event do not adhere to current recommendations regarding the percentage contribution of CHO & fat to total energy intake during endurance events.
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 27(2) 2005: 69-81