Skip to main content

Nutritional status and physical fitness of elderly sportsmen


The nutritional status of elderly sportsmen has not been reported on, neither has the nutritional balance nor the precise relationship between nutritional status and physical fitness been detailed for this population. Thus, group of 18 sportsmen [age 63 (SD 4.5) years] was monitored by weighing their food during a 6-day period. Macro nutrient, mineral and vitamin content was derived from tables. Daily energy expenditure (DEE) and sport activity (DSA) were quantified over a 7-day period using a questionnaire. Physical fitness was assessed by maximal oxygen uptake (O2max) measurements. The DEE was 11 429 (SD 1890) kJ · day−1. The DSA corresponded to 38% of DEE and O2max to 35.9 (SD 6.1) ml · min−1 · kg−1. When compared with French recommended dietary allowances (RDA) intakes were higher for energy (+24%), macro nutrients, and most minerals and vitamins. Despite high energy intakes, some subjects had mineral and vitamin deficits. Energy intakes were significantly related to intakes of magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins B2, B6, C and to O2max, but not to age. Stepwise regressions indicated that vitamin C intake was the only determinant to have a relationship with O2max. Thus, most elderly sportsmen had higher nutritional status than RDA, although some had mineral and vitamin deficits. It is therefore suggested that elderly sportsmen should be encouraged to consume food with higher mineral and vitamin contents.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Accepted: 17 June 1997

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chatard, JC., Boutet, C., Tourny, C. et al. Nutritional status and physical fitness of elderly sportsmen. Eur J Appl Physiol 77, 157–163 (1997).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

  • Key words Ageing
  • Sport
  • Nutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins