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Body composition for athletes

Body composition for athletes

Validity of leg-to-leg bioelectrical impedance measurement in highly active women. Cole KS. Composirion One.

Body composition for athletes -

She has also consulted with over 50 colleges and professional sports teams over the past 10 years. Michelle continues to teach and develop educational resources for developing Sports Dietitians.

The use of software that blocks ads hinders our ability to serve you the content you came here to enjoy. We ask that you consider turning off your ad blocker so we can deliver you the best experience possible while you are here. Written by: Michelle Rockwell, MS, RD, CSSD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Body composition is a physical measurement that provides more specific information about body make-up than body weight alone.

Does body composition impact athletic performance and health? Assessing body composition There are many different methods for evaluating body composition.

Assessment tools and methods used with college student-athletes: In the collegiate setting, numerous assessment tools are used. Considerations about body composition analysis: A body composition measurement from one method cannot be compared to one from another.

For example, a football player evaluated by DEXA at his university cannot compare results to the BodPod values he receives at the NFL combine. Likewise, when tester or equipment variation comes into play, results also cannot be compared.

A cross country runner who has skinfold caliper measurements performed by her strength and conditioning coach cannot compare results to the same measurements taken by the sports dietitian. Measuring via the same method in a systematic way offers the most benefit for individuals and team analysis.

Measurements should be done in private. Results should be handled with sensitivity. The National Athletic Trainers Association suggests that body composition results be treated the same as other medical information with regard to confidentiality.

Measurements should be taken when student-athletes are well-hydrated and before exercise. In general, measurements should be taken no more frequently than every two to three months. Some professionals recommend twice per year or less. Defer to your sports dietitian regarding specific student-athlete protocols.

There should always be a purpose for taking measurement. Clear and consistent communication is paramount. Testers must be sensitive to the impact of assessment on student-athletes.

If resources are not available to assist with the management of body composition information and education, its best to avoid it altogether. Communicating about body composition Always emphasize performance measures, overall training, diet and healthy lifestyle as highest priority for athletes. When body composition change is appropriate, establish a percent body fat range rather than an absolute value.

Changes in body composition should be gradual and targeted changes are priority in the off-season whenever possible.

Guide student-athletes to focus on FFM as much as they focus on percent body fat as this is functional, powerful athletic tissue they wish to maintain or increase and can feel more positive than focusing on decreasing percent body fat. It is recommended that athletics departments develop guidelines and protocol for measurement, analysis and communication of body composition data.

Table 3. May feel intrusive to some athletes. Body composition then estimated using equations. Expensive Test is fairly quick about 10 min Athletes have to wear swimsuit or minimal tight clothing and cap — privacy required Must be housed in environmentally appropriate and stable room.

Lean tissue is more dense than water, and fat tissue is less dense than water muscle sinks, fat floats. Athlete with higher body fat will weigh less underwater and athlete with more lean tissue will weigh more. Small sonar device that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to produce images of body tissues; fat can be distinguished from other tissue.

Not yet common method of testing. More likely in research setting. Coyle, E. Understanding efficiency of human muscular movement exemplifies integrative and translational physiology. J Physiol , Pt 3 , Irish, L.

The role of sleep hygiene in promoting public health: A review of empirical evidence. Sleep Med Rev , 22 , Kline, C. Burke, L. The association between sleep health and weight change during a month behavioral weight loss intervention. Int J Obes Lond , 45 3 , Li, B. Associations between body composition and physical fitness among Chinese medical students: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Public Health , 22 1 , Watson, A. Sleep and Athletic Performance. Curr Sports Med Rep , 16 6 , This helps sports nutritionists develop dietary interventions, and athletic trainers create, evaluate, and customize training programs for individual needs. Not only does this optimize performance, but it can also record sudden changes in body composition that may be a signal of different health concerns.

This is especially important for at-risk athletes with extremely low body fat. As an example, for women athletes this could lead to a phenomenon called the female athlete triad , which refers to low energy availability or disordered eating , menstrual dysfunction , and low bone density, resulting in a heightened risk of injuries.

These problems are especially apparent in aesthetic sports and weight class sports where low body fat and extreme dieting are all too common. For safety and ethical reasons, body composition measurements should only be implemented when the athlete is fully grown.

Furthermore, these measurements should be used with caution and the results need to be shared as sensitively as possible. Choosing the wrong words may only increase the chances of unhealthy eating habits and unhealthy body image, which can even lead to eating disorders.

The most effective way to have an impact on your body composition is through a well-balanced diet. Your body composition is a result of several different physiological factors. These include genetics, sex, age, training background, and even your diet. Not only do these determine your body type, but they can also have a significant impact on your physical performance.

Genetic factors have a significant impact on your body composition. After all, your biological makeup determines your height, weight, how naturally lean you are, your tendency to store fat, as well as where the fat is stored. This can further be broken down into other individual physical traits.

The body type is also highly heritable. This may be partly due to having a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers type II which are not only more suited for higher force production, but also larger in size. This may give some athletes a more muscular appearance.

This is aided by having a higher proportion of endurance-oriented slow-twitch muscle fibers type I. Modern genetics have also identified specific genes that may affect both body composition and performance. One of these is a so-called ACE gene that is associated with better endurance capability.

Another example of this is an ACTN3 gene that is only found in fast-twitch muscle fibers and used during explosive exercises. It is said to have a specific variant that may have a performance effect on elite-level performance. Conversely, there is also an FTO gene that is closely related to weight gain and obesity.

Your sex also has a significant impact on body composition, especially when it comes to body fat. The reason for this is that women tend to naturally carry more fat due to reproductive reasons — a higher amount of body fat helps prepare for pregnancy and nursing.

These physical changes often appear during and after puberty. Interestingly, there seems to be more variability among women whether they carry subcutaneous fat under the skin around the hips and thighs or in the upper body.

On the other hand, men usually have more fat around the trunk and the abdomen visceral fat , which is proven to have a more negative impact on health.

Gender-specific hormones also have a slight impact on body type. For example, female hormones like estrogen and progesterone also affect water retention during different times of the month.

However, it is also important that these changes are taken into account when comparing data between measurements. In addition to sex hormones, thyroid hormones also play an important role in energy balance energy homeostasis and heat production thermogenesis , leading to possible changes in body composition.

Fat percentage and fat accumulation are not the only gender-specific factors that can affect your body composition. For example, women tend to also have less lean muscle mass than men of the same BMI. One reason behind this is that males have times more testosterone in the body. Since it is an anabolic male sex hormone boosts growth produced in the testicles, men tend to accumulate more muscle mass, especially during puberty.

As your metabolism slows down as you grow older, your body composition will naturally go through some physiological changes.

One of these is an age-related loss of lean muscle mass, function, and quality known as sarcopenia. Typically sarcopenia speeds up around the age of 75, but can also start sooner or later. Of course, this is heavily related to your level of activity and diet. This can slow down your metabolism even further.

On a positive note, these effects can be prevented or even reversed with well-planned weight training and the right diet. Another thing to keep in mind is that bone density tends to naturally decline as you age.

Additionally, lower levels of testosterone in men and decreased levels of estrogen in women during menopause are both significant causes of bone loss. As the bones lose their mineral density, they also become more frail, making them more prone to fractures.

The ideal body composition depends on your sport and playing position. Aside from genetic factors and diet, it is well known that body composition changes due to physical activity, making it one of the major components of fitness and overall health.

This means that athletes relying on strength , faster force production and speed are often more muscular than endurance athletes. While consistent exercise shapes your body to fit your personal physical needs, the same goes for inactive individuals as well.

A sedentary lifestyle accelerates weight gain and may cause obesity. Strength and power athletes often have more lean muscle mass to provide a stronger contraction during sports-specific exercises.

However, this comes with a cost. Studies have shown that a higher body mass, regardless of the cause, has a negative effect on maximal oxygen uptake VO 2 max and endurance performance.

This is especially important to remember if you participate in aerobic-anaerobic sports that require endurance as well as high levels of strength. Soccer being a prime example. Endurance athletes are often built leaner, with better aerobic capacity highest amount of oxygen used during a maximal performance.

This means that you use less energy with each step or repetition, making every movement more efficient in the long run. More intense activities also improve your speed endurance , anaerobic capacity total amount of energy from non-oxygen energy system , and lactate buffering, making sure you perform better during longer exercises with a high heart-rate.

However, higher intensity and higher resistance training will eventually also increase muscle mass — which may not be what your performance needs. While your age, sex, and training background have some clear effects on your body composition, none of them affects it more than your diet.

This is largely due to energy balance which leads to either storing energy as fat or maintaining a balance between food intake and energy usage.

After all, eating more energy than you use leads to gaining weight, and vice versa. Understanding the relationship between individual energy need and energy usage is the key to ideal body composition.

This will also help you to either lose or gain weight depending on the needs of your sport. While some foods may help build more muscle and others can contribute to fat mass, the most important thing to remember is maintaining a proper daily calorie intake.

This means that if you want to stay in the same physical shape, you should eat the same amount of calories you use on a daily basis. Eating too much or too little can result in significant negative health effects.

If you want to change your body composition, you should try to maintain a gradual kcal surplus or deficit per day over a long period of time. Most importantly, you must remember that food is not just the calories that you consume.

In fact, what you eat is even more important than simply filling your daily calorie need. A good rule of thumb is avoiding processed foods that are high in fat and sodium and replacing them with balanced fresh meals instead. Eating an adequate amount of high-quality protein, a wide range of different vegetables, fiber-rich fruits, and whole-grain products are ideal for maintaining a healthy body composition while still keeping you energized for daily activities.

Your training goal should not be in reaching a certain body type. Contrary to popular belief, there is no perfect body type for athletic performance. In fact, the ideal body composition is directly related to the physical demands of your sport. For example, athletes who need both mass and power to perform better in their sport tend to have a higher fat percentage as well as more lean muscle mass.

Greater body mass also increases inertia , making athletes harder to move, which can be extremely beneficial for some sports and playing positions football linemen etc. On the other hand, a lower fat percentage and better strength-to-mass ratio can be vastly more beneficial in sports that rely on power , speed , agility, and jump performance.

These include weight-class sports like martial arts, mixed martial arts, wrestling and boxing, aesthetic sports like gymnastics, cheerleading, dancing and figure skating, as well as gravitational sports such as running, skiing, climbing and jumping.

However, precision sports like darts, bowling, and snooker are less dependent on body composition. Thus, the optimal fat, lean, and total mass values also vary between sports, playing positions, and competitive level. While this sounds intuitive, the scientifically proven optimal values have yet to be determined.

Endurance athletes can also significantly benefit from lower overall body mass. In fact, multiple studies have found a clear connection between lower skin-fold thickness and long-distance performance in 1,m, 10,m, and marathon events. This is also supported by research stating that a higher body mass, be it fat or muscle, negatively affects maximal oxygen uptake VO 2 max and endurance performance.

This means that more muscular athletes are less likely to perform well in longer endurance events. However, sports scientists have suggested that these results may be caused by differences in muscle fiber composition and individual training programs.

Generally speaking, athletes benefit from lower fat percentage and higher lean muscle mass, and elite-level athletes tend to have similar fat ratios regardless of being a speed or an endurance athlete. However, a speed or a jumping athlete naturally has a higher level of lean muscle mass leading to a better strength capacity.

These findings are supported by multiple studies stating that an increase in body fat has a connection to decreased athletic performance. One thing to remember is that your training goal should not be in reaching a certain body type.

The real goal should be in obtaining the optimal sports-specific values of fat and lean muscle mass for the upper body, lower body, and as well as overall body mass.

Thus, making sure you have the right amount of muscle without slowing you down. This should also be the goal of every training and nutritional program. The ideal body composition is not just about overall weight or fat percentage.

Research shows that strength training and high-intensity exercises are essential for adapting your body composition. This is because it increases muscle mass, which also boosts resting metabolism, and eventually reduces overall body fat.

Endurance exercises also help maintain a healthy body composition — or even improve it due to increased energy use. The biggest benefit of this is that low-intensity exercises are far easier to keep up, meaning you can maintain an elevated heart rate for an extended amount of time.

Table of contents. Gut health and nutrient absorption performance is a coomposition of sports-specific technique, skill, Gluten-free options well as the tor of fitness cimposition, strength, power, speed, and balance. To some degree, these fitness components are also always related to your body composition. For example, your strength and power capacity are directly related to lean muscle mass because a bigger muscle also contracts with more force. Naturally, this can also improve your acceleration and maximum speed. The relationship Composifion body composition, particularly the proportions cmposition muscle composution fat, and fitness performance is crucial in Gut health and nutrient absorption the impact Leafy green health benefits athletic abilities. Muscle mass plays athlrtes central role in various aspects of physical and athletic performance. Firstly, it contributes to strength and power which generates force and exerts maximal effort. Having more muscle mass allows for increased strength potential, aiding activities such as weightlifting, sprinting, or explosive movements. Muscle tissue has a significant impact on metabolism. It is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest.


What is a Good Body fat Percentage? - Average vs. Athletic Body Fat Percentage Values

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