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Sport Ireland Institute

Sport Ireland Institute

How we helped students at the Sport Ireland Institute to analyse athlete dietary intake, and save time in the collection of data using the Libro app.

Sport Ireland Institute

Customer background

In this feature Danielle Logue, a PhD student at University College Dublin, discusses her work with Sport Ireland Institute. Her current area of research is Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport and its relationship with injury, illness, health and performance.

Sport Ireland plans, leads and coordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland. The Sport Ireland Institute’s mission is to support Irish athletes to win medals at a global level by driving excellence in the high performance system. This is facilitated through the delivery of world-class services in areas such as nutrition, strength and conditioning, physiology, coach development and rehabilitation.

Sport Ireland Institute chose Nutritics to analyse athlete dietary intake because of the high level of accurate detail provided in the software and the time saved in data collection with Libro. The team trust the accuracy of the information provided and the Nutritics team behind it.

User-friendly and real-time data collection

When getting started, Danielle recognised a significant challenge to her work: “As part of the study we had a large number of participants with very little free time to record their food intake on a daily basis. We also needed to be able to assess the quality of the data and import the logs on a larger scale prior to the next day of data collection to identify any gaps.”

See Danielle talk about her project in our panel discussion, “Nutrition as and Emerging Science – Challenges and Trends”:

This led to a search for a user-friendly, real-time data collection tool to facilitate to capture participant information in detail and instantly analyse food intake across the group.

Finding the right solution

“We needed a tool that was easily accessible to the participants and one that was going to aid us to collect the best quality data. We were looking for something that made it very simple for the participants to look up recipes we had developed and select their portion size.”

Why we chose Libro and Nutritics

After a detailed search of the market, Danielle felt that Libro and Nutritics was the only solution available in the market that could meet all of her needs. “It is evidence-based, the interface is really, really nice and participants can just log breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks straight away. Portion sizes are available, there are pictures, so it is very easy to just click and go.

Danielle noted the three key USPs that led her to proceed with Nutritics

  1. Participant ease of use
  2. The ability to input the exact recipes consumed within the restaurant prior to data collection
  3. The automatic entry of 720 food diaries

Greater control and evidence based quality data

The decision to choose Nutritics and Libro proved to be of huge benefit to Danielle and her team.

“It saved us two weeks as we didn’t have to manually enter 720 food diaries. It allowed us more time to spend with our participants. We were able to be onsite to monitor participants closely and we really benefited from the recipes being the exact recipes that were used within the restaurant facility. The researchers also performed advanced intake analysis to check if milk was added to cereal, if butter was added to bread, etc., for optimal results. Libro allowed for greater control within that environment and it allowed us to get better quality data as well.

“Support from the Nutritics team was fantastic. We were able to receive batch reports each day to identify those that hadn’t completed the food diary the previous evening, which was fantastic for our study and results.”

Concluding remarks

“The development of Libro is a massive step forward. It was such a useful tool for us when we were working with our athlete population. The fact that you can batch import diet logs allowed us to review the data entered on a daily basis leading to better quality data and more control. We are excited to be using Libro again in the future.”

Study summary

Energy availability (“EA”) is defined as the amount of dietary energy available after exercise or training for the body to function normally. If insufficient energy is consumed for the amount of exercise or training undertaken, individuals may find themselves in a state of low EA. This can result in the body being unable to function as normal, resulting in an increased risk of injury and illness. Optimal EA is an integral component of health and performance.

The aim of this research study was to determine EA in a large cohort of active males and females and to investigate its association with injury, illness, health and performance. The results of this study will progress understanding of the energy required to support intense training and the relationship between EA and health and performance outcomes.

You can learn more about the study here.