Date of Award
Master of Science in Kinesiology
Background The growing popularity of the sport of bodybuilding has led to the creation of new categories such as men’s physique, classic physique, figure, fitness, and bikini where little is known of the dietary strategies of these newer divisions. The primary aim of this study was to assess the kcal and macronutrient intake of bodybuilders during three time points of competition preparation and distinguish these strategies between divisions.
Methods This observational cross-sectional study consisted of one hundred forty-five participants (90 men aged 31.5 ± 8.9 and 55 women aged 31.7 ± 7.4). Participants completed a modified version of the Dietary Assessment of a Natural Bodybuilding Population Questionnaire which has been used in previous research assessing diet during three time points. At each time point, participants recorded dietary intake over a 24-hour period. Participants were categorized according to their competitive division and grouped together for dietary analysis (Bodybuilding: BB, Men’s Physique: MP, and Women’s Divisions: WD). Kcal and macronutrient analysis was performed using MyFitnessPal. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine and compare the kcal and macronutrient intake expressed in grams and g/kg bodyweight between competitive divisions during the three time points of competition preparation. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.
Results Mean kcal and macronutrient intake in all groups significantly decreased from the initial to end time period (p ≤ 0.05). Mean kcal intake of BB was significantly greater than MP and WD at all time periods (p ≤ 0.05). Mean kcal intake of MP was significantly greater than WD at all time periods (p ≤ 0.05). Mean CHO intake of BB was significantly greater compared to MP and WD at all time points (p ≤ 0.05). Mean CHO intake of MP was significantly greater compared to WD only at the initial time point of competition preparation (p < 0.05). Mean PRO intake of BB was significantly greater than WD at all time points (p < 0.05). Also, mean PRO intake of MP was significantly greater than WD at all times points (p ≤ 0.05). Fat (g/kg BW) intake was significantly greater in BB compared to WD at all time points (p ≤ 0.05).
Conclusions Competitors in the bodybuilding division consumed a greater amount of kcals and carbohydrates throughout the entirety of competition preparation compared to other divisions. Greater kcal and carbohydrate intake could theoretically be contributed to greater muscle mass and starting weight as different divisions place different expectations on competitors. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to differentiate dietary strategies between competitive divisions. However, future research is needed to increase generalizability for all divisions.
Grill, Garrett, "THE DIETARY INTAKE OF MALE AND FEMALE BODYBUILDERS DURING COMPETITION PREPARATION" (2021). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 1939.