Body Composition Changes with Training Methodological Implications
This chapter reviews some issues and concerns related to the precision and accuracy of most often used body composition methods that need to be taken into account when selecting a method. The molecular level of body composition analysis consists of five major components: water, protein, carbohydrate, mineral, and lipid. When using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to estimate body composition, it is assumed that the body consists of three components that are differentiated by their X-ray attenuation properties, namely, fat mass (FM), bone mineral, and lean soft tissue (LST). Anthropometric methods can be applied in both laboratory and sports field settings providing simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive body composition estimations. The chapter also reviews the major limitations regarding the accuracy and precision of body composition methods that are most commonly used by sports professionals. All body composition methods present advantages and disadvantages; when choosing one method over another, it is important to be aware of the limitations of the method.