Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Dr. Kris Berg


Volleyball is a demanding sport typified by repeated high intensity bouts of activity consisting of jumping, spiking, diving, and running. Practice sessions for collegiate level play generally last from two to three hours. The total energy requirement for extended practice sessions has not been directly measured and compared to dietary intake to assess whether collegiate athletes’ energy intake meets the energy demand of the sport. The purpose of this study was to establish the energy balance of female collegiate volleyball athletes during typical team training days. A bioenergetic analysis was conducted by directly measuring oxygen consumption (V 02) during actual training sessions, analyzing detailed records of the energy cost of all other activities throughout training days, and comparing the total kcal cost of activity to the dietary intake of athletes. Twelve female collegiate volleyball athletes (20.5 ±1.2 years of age) were asked to wear a portable metabolic measurement device for approximately 45 min during their regularly scheduled team practice sessions under the direct supervision of team coaches; data from one athlete was excluded due to illness on data collection days. Athletes kept detailed records of all physical activity and dietary intake for three 24 hour periods on three regular team training days. The mean V 0 2 during on-court data collection was 25.03 ±3.12 ml/kg/min during approximately 47.1 ± 3.7 min of volleyball play. The mean energy cost during on-court data collection was 419 ± 85 kcal. Analysis of activity records of the three 24 hour periods on team training days revealed a mean daily energy cost of 3630 ± 442 kcal. The mean daily kcal intake from dietary records was 1861 ±516 kcal. There was a significant difference (p = 0.001) between the energy expenditure (EE) and the energy intake (El) revealing a negative 1769 ± 507 kcal balance which represented a 48.7% negative energy balance. In conclusion, this study revealed greater EE on training days compared to El and pointed to a need for further research to investigate nutritional supplementation and/or education to help athletes attain an optimal energy balance essential for health, training, and performance.


A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education, & Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Exercise Science University of Nebraska at Omaha