Nutrition Views And Training Practices Of Recreational Runners


Affiliations

  • Sports and Fitness Nutritionist, Army Rowing Node, Pune, India
  • Chief Nutritionist- Hande Medical Centre, Chennai, India
  • Senior Nutritionist- Hande medical Centre, Chennai, India
  • Sports Statistician- Army Sports Institute, Pune, India

Abstract

Background : Running is in vogue and participation in running events among Indians has increased rem arkably. Nutrition is an important aspect of running, medical assessment and correct training is essential for performance and safety. Objective: The present study was undertaken to assess and evaluate the nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and training practices of Indian recreational runners. Methodology: The study was conducted in two regions- Western and Southern India. Semi-structured questionnaire included participant characteristics, training, nutritional practices during training and competition, supplement intake, medical and fitness assessment. Web-based survey questionnaire was circulated among recreational running groups in Chennai, M um bai and Pune. Informed consent was obtained from the participants. The cohort 296 recreational runners, both men (n=197) and women (n=99) aged 25 to 70 years participated in the study. The data was analyzed using Chi square test in SPSS 20. Results: The study participants were w ell educated and 82.4% w ere working professionals. 41.6% of the runners had done medical and fitness assessment before training. A bout 38.2% w ere novice runners and 61.9% had participated in  running events. The participants trained for 3 to 5 days in a w eek with 79.1% training in a group, 26.4% with a coach, 9.1% used a mobile app, and 57.1% used a fitness tracker (G arm in-24.3% ; Fitbit-14.9% ), running websites (58.4%). Running helped to improve endurance(71.6% ), strength(53.7% ), stamina(58.4% ), good sleep(46.3% ), reduced stress(48.2%), reduced illness(51.7%). Only 10% of the runners consulted a nutritionist, while most runners got nutrition information from coach (28.4%), peers (56.2%), and websites (43.2%). Runners had varied p re-training food choices; only 18% consumed asportse lectrolyte drink. During training runners consumed water (43%), sports drink (15.1%), sports gel (6.1%), fruits (12.8%) and chocolates (11.8%). Only 22.1% of runners used nutritional supplements- proteins and sports drinks, to enhance performance. The present study showed a significant difference (p<0.0001) in train in g practices, dietary strategies across gender, age, and regions (Western/Southern India) and most importantly novice and trained runners. Conclusion: The study depicted paucity of nutrition know ledge among recreational runners. There is an urgent need to educate coaches and athletes to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.

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