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Energy Thermodynamics Revisited: The importance of within-day energy balance for optimal weight, body composition, and sense of well-being.

Dan Benardot presented "Energy Thermodynamics Revisited: The importance of within-day energy balance for optimal weight, body composition, and sense of well-being."

Background: There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that wide deviations in real-time energy balance cause difficulties in sustaining a desirable weight and/or body composition. These deviations may be caused by large periods of time between eating opportunities, exercise that is not adequately supported with sufficient energy, and excessively large meals.  The resulting energy balance deviations are associated with alterations in insulin, leptin, and ghrelin that increase the likelihood for weight gain and its sequellae, including diabetes, certain cancers, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease.  For the athlete wishing to achieve a competitive weight and body composition, restrained eating that causes the athlete to spend more time in a severe energy deficit may be counterproductive by altering body composition in a way that lowers the strength to weight ratio and, in female athletes, amenorrhea.  These issues and strategies for better understanding within-day energy balance will be discussed.


About the presenter, Dr. Dan Benardot

Dan Benardot, PhD, DHC, RD, LD, FACSM, is full professor at Georgia State University (GSU). He received his doctorate in human nutrition and health planning from Cornell University in 1980 and is a registered and licensed dietitian. Benardot's primary area of expertise is sports nutrition, with a research emphasis in energy balance and nutrition issues related to young athletes. He cofounded and directs the Laboratory for Elite Athlete Performance at GSU.

As the national team nutritionist and a founding member of the Athlete Wellness Program for USA Gymnastics, Benardot worked with the gold-medal-winning women's gymnastics team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and the medal-winning U.S. marathoners at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He also worked with the marathoners selected to represent the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He has served as an officer of the USA Figure Skating Sports Medicine Society and continues to work regularly with national team figure skaters. His research has been funded by several organizations, including the United States Olympic Committee, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, and the American Cancer Society.