Background: In addition to nutrition, other factors that can influence athletes’ performance are anxiety and sleep quality.
Methods: Aiming to evaluate dietary intake, competitive anxiety and sleep quality in a competition day, this cross-sectional study assessed nine basketball male athletes at two
moments: a) on the game day: glucose and lipid profiles, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire, anthropometric and dietary evaluation, and Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2
short-form version, answered right before the game; b) during the subsequent night: actigraphy and sleep diary.
Results: Athletes mean values were: 18.4±0.7 years old; 90.7±10.9 kg; 1.93±0.1 m; 24.4±1.5kg/m2 of Body Mass Index; 10.4±3.2% of body fat percentage. Blood glucose (96.2±6.3 mg/dL),
cholesterol (153.7±6.6 mg/dL), and triacylglycerol (82.6±11.8 mg/dL) values were within normal range. During competition the team slept in a school, on mattresses disposed on the floor of a classroom.
Athletes pointed out the poor quality of the mattress and high environmental noise as causes for awakenings. The three main meals, planned by the competition’s organizing committee, were served by the
school’s food service. Athletes kept their usual food choices at these meals; but, although available, didn’t consume usual afternoon and night snack. Energy intake (32.6±4.7 kcal/kg) was close to the
minimum recommended for athletes, while carbohydrate consumption (3.2±0.3 g/kg) was below the recommendations for collective sports players. Protein (1.8±0.3 g/kg) intake was within the
recommendations and lipid intake (1.4±0.3 g/kg) slightly exceeded the suggested values. The consumption of vitamin E, K and C, calcium, magnesium and potassium was lower than the recommendation for
individuals of the same age range. The team had poor sleep quality, with a mean score of 5.5±3.2 for the PSQI. The total sleep time was 384.7±42.6 minutes, with efficiency of 86.9±5.2%. Sleep latency
(37.0±38.8 minutes) and wake after sleep onset (57.6 ± 20.9 minutes) indicate a poor sleep quality. Subjective sleep quality (indicated on 0-10 scale) was 4.2±1.9, with only 29% of the athletes
evaluating the night as "good". Regarding competitive anxiety, self-confidence (3.0±0.5) was higher than cognitive (2.2±0.6) and somatic anxiety (45±0.6), indicating adequate psychological preparation
for the competition.
Conclusions: The context of this competition, common in sports, led to poor sleep condition. Athletes would benefit from guidance to enhance their food intake in competitions.
Considering the importance of food and sleep, our results emphasize the need for awareness to improve competitive conditions of Brazilian basketball athletes.