Nutrient Intake of Elite Canadian and American Athletes with Spinal Cord Injury

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

Publication Date



The nutrient needs of athletes with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) are dependent on their physiological alterations and training status. Limited research is available regarding dietary intake of elite athletes with SCI and possible nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine dietary intake of elite athletes with SCI, and determine dietary intake inadequacies based on the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) comparisons. Additionally, the average energy and macronutrient (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) intake was compared based on level of injury (C level, T1-T6, T7-T12, Lumbar). A total of 39 athletes with a SCI completed a self-reported 24 hour diet recall in autumn and 27 athletes returned to complete a second data collection period (winter). Nutrient inadequacy was estimated by the proportion of athletes with mean intakes below the EAR through the Research Solutions Food Processor Diet Analysis Software (ESHA). Although Macronutrients for both men and women were within acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) recommendations, low EAR’s for various nutrients were consistently found for both men and women. No significant differences were found for energy or macronutrient intake between groups based on level of lesion. Further research is needed to examine nutrient intake using other methods of dietary assessment and to determine the factors that may lead to nutrient insufficiency among elite athletes with SCI.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Exercise Science. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


International Journal of Exercise Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.