A Randomized Trial of Healthy Weight Gain in Athletic Individuals

Year Published: 2024

Journal

Med Sci Sports Exerc

Authors

Allison D Sanchez 1 , Jake C Reynolds 1 , Elaina L Marinik 1 , Ryann D Kolb 2 , Alicia J Lozano 2 , Brenda M Davy 1 , Gary R Hunter 3 , D Enette Larson-Meyer 1

Methods

Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes of a 10-week diet and exercise regimen designed to promote healthy weight gain with excess energy from peanut-containing or high-carbohydrate foods. Methods: 19 male and 13 female athletes were randomly assigned to receive 500 additional kcal/day above typical intake through provision of either peanut-based whole foods/snacks (PNT group) or a similar, high-carbohydrate, peanut-free snack (CHO group) along with supervised, whole-body RT (3 days/week for 60-120 minutes). Body composition was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at baseline and post-intervention.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Results: Total body mass (TBM) increased 2.2 ± 1.3 kg with 1.5 ± 1.1 kg as LBM after week 10. The PNT group (N = 16; 27 ± 7 years; 10 men, 6 women) gained less TBM than the CHO group (N = 16; 23 ± 3 years; 9 men, 7 women) (1.6 ± 1.1 kg vs 2.7 ± 1.2 kg, respectively, P = 0.007) with no differences in LBM (1.2 ± 1.1 kg vs 1.9 ± 1.0 kg, P = 0.136). Conclusions: These results suggest that the addition of 500 kcal/day from whole foods/snacks in combination with a rigorous RT program promotes a similar weight gain of ~0.22 kg/week, primarily as LBM, over 10 weeks in both male and female athletes. However, snack macronutrient content may impact the effectiveness of this regimen.