15 participants completed a two-week, single-arm, prospective study was to determine if elite pickleball athletes can improve quality of life with nutrient-dense foods. Subjects, with an average age of 55 ± 8 years, were recruited at a competition and were all avid players. Three nutrient-dense foods were provided daily – a brain-enhancing shake to improve focus, a bar to increase energy, and a hot meal to help with endurance and recovery.
10 general quality of life questions used a rating system of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
4 pickleball-targeted questions were asked using Yes (noticed a change) or No (no change). Three of these four were also asked using the numeric rating system.
Participants engaged in >500 minutes of exercise each week.
For the 10 general quality of life indicators, the greatest improvements were seen in: Sleeping better (27%), Feeling full (24%), and Passion (21%). Only Gastrointestinal issues worsened by 23%. The 4 pickleball-targeted quality of life questions indicated improvement as well with 40% reporting better Endurance and Recovery; 33% had more Energy; and 27% had better Focus. The three questions that were asked using both systems showed similar improvements.
The ability to improve the quality of life in elite athletes exceeds what others have found. In summary, nutrient-dense foods can be readily incorporated into the lives of older, elite pickleball athletes and improve the quality of life indicators.
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