Comparisons of Daily Energy Intake vs. Expenditure Using the GeneActiv Accelerometer in Elite Australian Football Athletes

Brie S. Salagaras, Kristen L. MacKenzie, Maximillian J. Nelson, Francois Fraysse, Thomas P. Wycherley, Gary J Slater, Chris McLellan, Kuldeep Kumar, Vernon G Coffey

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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To assess validity of the GeneActiv accelerometer for use within an athlete population and compare energy expenditure (EE) with energy and macronutrient intake of elite Australian Football athletes during a competition week. The GeneActiv was first assessed for utility during high-intensity exercise with indirect calorimetry. Thereafter, 14 professional Australian Football athletes (age, 24 ± 4 [SD] y; height, 1.87 ± 0.08 m; body mass, 86 ± 10 kg) wore the accelerometer and had dietary intake assessed via dietitian-led 24-hour recalls throughout a continuous 7 days of competition period (including match day). There was a significant relationship between metabolic equivalents and GeneActiv g·min−1 (SEE 1.77 METs; r2 = 0.64; p < 0.0001). Across the in-season week a significant difference only occurred on days 3 and 4 (day 3: energy intake [EI] EI 137 ± 31 kJ·kg−1·d−1; 11,763 ± 2,646 kJ·d−1 and EE: 186 ± 14 kJ·kg−1·d−1; 16,018 ± 1973 kJ·d−1; p < 0.05; d = −1.4; day 4: EI: 179 ± 44 kJ·kg−1·d−1, 15,413 ± 3,960 kJ·d−1 and EE: 225 ± 42 kJ·kg−1·d−1; 19,313 ± 3,072 kJ·d−1; d = −0.7). Carbohydrate intake (CI) was substantially below current sports nutrition recommendations on 6 of 7 days with deficits ranging from −1 to −7.2 g·kg−1·d−1 (p < 0.05), whereas daily protein and fat intake was adequate. In conclusion, the GeneActiv provides effective estimation of EE during weekly preparation for a professional team sport competition. Australian Footballers attempt to periodize dietary EI to varying daily training loads but fail to match expenditure on higher-training load days. Specific dietary strategies to increase CI may be beneficial to achieve appropriate energy balance and macronutrient distribution, particularly on days where athletes undertake multiple training sessions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1278
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number5
Early online date4 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


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