Nutritional Status of Older Endurance Athletes

Mitsuru Higuchi, Kikue Yamakawa, Makiko Ozawa, Tokio Fuchi, Noriko Takenoshita, Shuhei Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to evaluate nutritional status of older endurance runners (age; 62.5±2.5yr., weight ; 53.8±4.2 kg, %fat ; 12.0±2.1%, mean±SD) by comparing with age-matched sedentary individuals (63.6±3.5 yr., 58.4±9.1 kg, 15.6±4.0%) and middle-aged long distance runners (35.2±3.1 yr., 61.2±5.6 kg, 11.8±1.9%). Average training distance of the older runners was a half of that of the middle-aged runners (44 vs. 85 km/week). Maximal oxygen uptake in the older runners was significantly higher than in the older sedentary controls, but lower than in the middle-aged runners (50.4±4.1 vs. 30.6±3.5 vs. 64.0±2.2 ml/kg/min, respectively). No differences were observed in the concentrations of serum albumin, serum iron and blood hemoglobin among the three groups. Intake levels of the three groups with regard to the major nutrients were sufficient as compared with the recommended dietary allowance appropriate for age, sex and physical activity level. Total caloric intake in the older runners was not remarkably higher than in the older controls in terms of kcal/day (2,430 vs. 2,230), but was significantly higher in terms of kcal/kg wt/day (45.5 vs. 38.9). Percents to the total caloric intake of protein (15.2%), fat (25.4%) and carbohydrate (52.6%) in the older runners were almost identical to the other two groups. Ratios of animal to total in protein and fat were not significantly different among the groups. The intakes of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, Bu B2 and niacin were higher, but statistically not significant, in the older runners than in the older controls. These results suggest that nutritional status of older endurance runners is adequate for maintaining their health in a good state while keeping their active lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJapanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • exercise
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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