Poor precompetitive sleep habits, nutrients’ deficiencies, inappropriate body composition and athletic performance in elite gymnasts.

Silva MR, Paiva T . Eur J Sport Sci. 2016 Sep;16(6):726-35.

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate body composition, sleep, precompetitive anxiety and dietary intake on the elite female gymnasts’ performance prior to an international competition. Sixty-seven rhythmic gymnasts of high performance level were evaluated in relation to sport and training practice, body composition, sleep duration, daytime sleepiness by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), sleep quality by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), precompetitive anxiety by the Sport Competition Anxiety Test form A (SCAT-A) and detailed dietary intake just before an international competition. Most gymnasts (67.2%) suffered from mild daytime sleepiness, 77.6% presented poor sleep quality and 19.4% presented high levels of precompetitive anxiety. The majority of gymnasts reported low energy availability (EA) and low intakes of important vitamins including folate, vitamins D, E and K; and minerals, including calcium, iron, boron and magnesium (p < .05). Gymnasts’ performance was positively correlated with age (p = .001), sport practice (p = .024), number of daily training hours (p = .000), number of hours of training/week (p = .000), waist circumference (WC) (p = .008) and sleep duration (p = .005). However, it was negatively correlated with WC/hip circumference (p = .000), ESS (p = .000), PSQI (p = .042), SCAT-A (p = .002), protein g/kg (p = .028), EA (p = .002) and exercise energy expenditure (p = .000). High performance gymnasts presented poor sleep habits with consequences upon daytime sleepiness, sleep quality and low energy availability.

Poor precompetitive sleep habits, nutrients’ deficiencies, inappropriate body composition and athletic performance in elite gymnasts.