Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.
Volume 8
Issue 4
Food Science and Technology
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume8/issue4/art-43.html


Andrzej K. Hyżyk1, Jacek Romankow2, Elżbieta Pawlaczyk-Wróblewska3
1 Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, The August Cieszkowski Agricultural, The August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznan, Poland
2 Departament of Working Environment Engineering, The August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznan, Poland
3 Institute of Pediatric, The Karol Marcinkowski University of Medicine of Poznan, Poland



In the course of the performed experiments, attempts were made to evaluate the 24 h energy expenditure of a selected population of young kayakers. The obtained results allowed the authors to conclude that this expenditure was not balanced and the energy from the day’s diet exceeded it significantly.

Key words: way of feeding, state of nutrition, day energy expenditure, energy balance, kayakers.


One of the principles of sportsmen’s feeding is to maintain the proper energy balance. Therefore, rationalisation of the feeding method is important as it may not only improve the effectiveness of training but, in addition, contribute to the level of the results achieved by them [1, 2, 3].

The costs of energy expenditure during the training practice of kayakers qualify this sports discipline as labour of exceptionally high intensity. This is connected with the fact that young competitors, during a training session lasting 1.5 to 2.0 h, cover the distance of about 15 km and the effort the sportsmen put in include such activities as: about 25% warm up, 65% main training including, among others, speed sections during which the main emphasis falls on increasing speed or endurance and about 10% of quiet training closing the training session during which the physical effort is much smaller.

That is why it can be said that the energy expenditure of young sportsmen who train regularly is considerable and comparable with that of adult competitors [4, 5]. It seems, therefore, essential to control the training process continuously to assess if the expenditure is appropriately compensated by the nutritive value of the day’s ration.

Therefore, this study made an attempt to evaluate the way of feeding and the level of nourishment of young kayakers and to determine their day energy expenditure, especially in view of the fact that there is negligible information concerning the above-mentioned problems in the available literature on the subject.


Experiments were carried out in the School Complex of Sports Championship in Poznan and included 30 schoolboys of the average age of 16 practicing kayaking. All the participants as well as their coaches agreed to participate in the experiments.

The feeding habits of the examined kayakers were assessed using the method of the 24 h interview (10) for the period of 10 days on the same days on which the energy expenditure was determined using the “Album of products and dishes” (ed. IŻŻ 1999). The nutritive and energy value of the daily food ration (DFR), with corrections for technological and cooking losses, was calculated with the assistance of a computer program “Dietetyk 3.5” developed by the Ju Ma R Company.

The level of nourishment was assessed on the basis of anthropometric measurements, i.e. body weight and height and later, with the assistance of the centile charts, their corresponding percentile was determined characterising the somatic development of the participants (7). In addition, the degree of subcutaneous fattening expressed by the thickness of skin-adipose folds was assessed (TRC – over the triceps muscle of the arm, SSC – under the interior angle of the scapula, SIC – over the iliac bone crest) and the measurements were carried out by the callipers method on the left side of the body using a fold meter of the HARPENDEN type with the pressure of 10 g×mm-2 of the contact area with the accuracy of 0.1 mm [8].

The 24 h energy expenditure taking into account expenditures associated with school lessons, everyday activities, sleep, training as well as other activities developing general fitness were calculated by the chronometric-table method [9, 10, 11] also for the period of 10 days.

Next, on the basis of the calculated values of the daily energy expenditure (DEE) and the energy intaken by the examined kayakers in their daily food ration (DFR), the value of the energy balance was determined.


The characteristics of the examined population are presented in Table 1. It is evident from the data that the mean height of the examined kayakers was at the level of 177.2 cm and the body weight – 62.3 kg. This allowed assigning the examined group between the 25th and 75th percentile on the centile chart. On the other hand, the body weight index (BWI) 19.9 corresponded to proper values, while the degree of subcutaneous fattening expressed by the thickness of skin-adipose folds amounted to: 8.95 mm for TRC, 7.45 mm for SSC and 8.20 mm for SIC. This allows considering the fat content of the body weight in the examined competitors as appropriate in accordance with values given by Malinowski [7] for the corresponding age group of un-training youngsters.

Table 1. Characteristics of the examined population of kayakers



Age (years)

16 ± 0.5

Height (cm)

177.2 ± 8.71

Body weight (kg)

62.3 ± 9.39

Centile chart

25 – 75

BMI (body weight /height2)

19.9 ± 2.71

Skin-adipose fold

TRC [mm]

8.95 ± 2.87

SCC [mm]

7.45 ± 2.39

SIC [mm]

8.20 ± 2.63

One of the basic preconditions to stay fit and achieve good results by sportsmen is to provide their organisms with appropriate quantities of energy and nutrients in the daily food ration. No feeding standards have yet been elaborated in Poland for teenage competitors who are still growing and practice competitive sports. That is why, in the presented study, the authors adopted as a standard criterion for energy and nutrients for the examined population values recommended by Ziemlański [12] for persons of high physical activity.

At the same time, it is worth emphasising that, for this group of teenagers, an additional supply of certain nutrients and energy is recommended in their DFR ranging from 500 kcal (2092 kJ) to 1500 kcal (6726 kJ) per day, depending on their load and physical activity of the organism [13].

The way of feeding of the examined population was balanced inappropriately, both with regard to energy and some nutrients.

Comparing the intake of protein, fats and carbohydrates (Fig. 1), it was found that suitable proportions of these food components allowing their proportional utilisation as energy sources were upset. So, for instance, protein was the source of 12.1% of energy, fats – 38.4% and carbohydrates – 49.5%, while according to Ziemiański [1] the recommended standard is: 15%, 25% and 60%, respectively. The suitable supply with food of protein [14, 15] as the source of nitrogen and exogenous amino acids essential for the needs of the developing organism is particularly recommended. On the other hand, the percentage of energy derived from fats was clearly too high, although in relation to carbohydrates, it was lower than the recommended standard. Similar data was obtained by other researchers [4, 16].

Fig. 1. Percentage realisation of standard requirements for energy from selected nutrient in the DFR in the examined population of kayakers

As to the remaining nutrients in the DFR, the authors found unsatisfactory supplies of calcium (66.6%) in relation to phosphorus (175.4%), which is evident in the incorrect recommended calcium to phosphorus ratio (1:1) and which can lead to disturbances in the acid-base economy [1]. Moreover, the supply of vitamin C, which inhibits oxidation processes and reduces the impact of free radicals developing in excessive quantities during intensive physical effort [17, 18], was far from optimal.

When analysing the energy value of the food rations of the examined population of kayakers, it was found that it was realised in 124.5% reaching 4236 kcal (17723 kJ) which was caused by the excessive quantities of fats which provided 38.4% of energy.

It should be emphasised here that also other researchers [4, 16] reported irregularities similar to those observed in this study emphasising high supplies of fats in daily food rations.

The analysis of the average 24-hour energy expenditure of 3748 kcal (15 681 kJ) took into account the following average partial expenditures: 738 kcal (3087 kJ) – school activities, 820 kcal (3430 kJ) – everyday activities, 514 kcal (2150 kJ) – sleep and 1680 kcal (7029 kJ) – training and general development (Table 2) which confirms the high intensity of the latest.

Table 2. Day’s energy expenditure of the examined population of kayakers

Day’s energy expanditure (kcal)
Time (hours)

3748 ± 521
15 681 ± 2179

Activities at school (kcal)
Time (hours)

738 ± 73
3 087 ± 305
6 – 7

Everyday activities (kcal)
Time (hours)

820 ± 99
3 430 ± 414
6.5 – 7.5

Sleep (kcal)
Time (hours)

514 ± 64
2 150 ± 267
8.0 – 9.0

Training and general development activities (kcal)
Time (hours)

1 680 ± 280
7 029 ± 1 171
1.5 – 2.5

On the basis of the obtained values, the energy balance was calculated as the difference between the daily energy expenditure (DEE) – on average 3748 kcal (15 681 kJ) and the DFR intaken by the kayakers – on average 4236 kcal (17 723 kJ) (Fig. 2). It is evident that such energy balance cannot be accepted as well balanced since the energy from DFR exceeded the DEE by 488 kcal (2041 kJ). It should be said that this amount is not very high when compared with the results quoted in the available literature on the subject of teenagers practicing kayaking. A positive energy balance was also found in other groups of sportsmen of the same age [19].

Summing up it should be stressed that the performed investigations revealed some irregularities in the feeding habits of kayakers. The most important finding was the recorded positive energy balance which, if prolonged, may result in the increase of the body weight, reduce physical effectiveness of young competitors and, later in life, increase incidence of metabolic diseases.

Fig. 2. Comparison of mean values of the daily energy expenditure (DEE), amount of energy intaken with the daily food ration (DFR) and energy balance (EB) in the examined population of kayakers
3748 kcal/24h = 15681 kJ/24h
4236 kcal/24h = 17723 kJ/24h
488 kcal/24h = 2041 kJ/24h

The results of our investigations also stress the need to encourage suitable eating habits among sportsmen and cooperation between coaches and club sports physician.


  1. The eating habits of young kayakers were incorrect and were characterised by high supply of fats and reduced supply of proteins and carbohydrates as well as vitamin C and calcium.

  2. The energy balance of the examined kayakers was positive and depended on the energy value of the daily food ration (DFR) which exceeded the daily energy expenditure (DEE).

  3. It is advisable to control the eating habits of young sportsmen and to actively encourage knowledge about healthy nutrition.


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Andrzej K. Hyżyk
Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, The August Cieszkowski Agricultural,
The August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznan, Poland
Wojska Polskiego 31, 60-624 Poznan, Poland
phone: (+48 61) 848-7335
fax (48 61) 74 31

Jacek Romankow
Departament of Working Environment Engineering,
The August Cieszkowski Agricultural University of Poznan, Poland
Wojska Polskiego 38/42, 60-627 Poznan, Poland
phonel./fax (48 61) 848-7493
email: jromanko@au.poznan.pl

Elżbieta Pawlaczyk-Wróblewska
Institute of Pediatric,
The Karol Marcinkowski University of Medicine of Poznan, Poland
ul. Szpitalna 27/33 60-572 Poznan
phone./fax (48 61) 848 01 11

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