There is evidence to suggest that the nutritional status of children can be affected by way of engaging in strenuous, ongoing physical activity (Kabasakalis, Kalitsis, Nikolaidis, Tsalis, Kouretas, Loupos & Mougios, 2009). In a recent study, researchers from the University of Thessaloniki examined the changes in the nutritional staus of boy and girl swimmers, aged between 10 and 11 years, during a prolonged training period (23 weeks) (Kabasakalis, Kalitsis, Nikolaidis, Tsalis, Kouretas, Loupos & Mougios, 2009). Swimmers were assessed at the beginning of the training season, week 13 and week 23, through blood sampling and recording of the diet. The results of the study found that iron and glutathione (supports immune function) status was not impaired by training. Nonetheless, suboptimal intake of vitamin E, folate, calcium and magnesium was reported. For this reason, it is recommended that children be educated and monitored to ensure that suboptimal intake of several nutrients is avoided long term (Kabasakalis, Kalitsis, Nikolaidis, Tsalis, Kouretas, Loupos & Mougios, 2009).
Kabasakalis, A., Kalitsis, K., Nikolaidis, M.G., Tsalis, G., Kouretas, D., Loupos, D & Mougios, V. 2009. Redox, iron and nutritional status of children during swimming training. Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport, 12, 6, 691-697.