Exercise and nutritional benefits for individuals with a spinal cord injury or amputation
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This chapter reviews the literature for the benefits of exercise and nutrition in improving physical performance for individuals with a disability, in particular spinal cord injuries or amputation. The ways in which spinal cord injury or amputation can negatively affect muscle, fat and bone mass are discussed in light of the potentially questionable validity of many common body composition techniques for use with individuals with these disabilities. While resistance training significantly increased muscular strength and power and even aerobic fitness in recreationally active individuals with a disability, very few studies were conducted on athletes with a disability (AWD). The relatively modest literature on dietary habits of AWD suggests that, as a group, they meet most macronutrient and micronutrient RDAs, but that individual AWD dietary records reveal many may still not meet RDAs on several important micronutrients. The small number of studies on carbohydrate and creatine monohydrate supplementation is somewhat equivocal but does suggest some performance benefits can be gained in different situations.
This document has been peer reviewed.