This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
The Harvard University Boat Crew diet while in active training in 1898 was studied for six days by W. O. Atwater and A. P. Bryant. The average weight per man was 162 pounds. A daily loss of from 2 to 33/8 pounds per man was produced by rowing and restored before the next day. As much as 4¼ pounds is sometimes lost by a man during a four-mile race, and 1½ pound may be lost through worry and excitement immediately preceding the race.
"The diet was simple. Roast and broiled beef and lamb, fricasseed chicken, roast turkey, and broiled fish, made up the meats. Eggs were used plentifully either raw, poached, or boiled in the shell. Large amounts of milk and cream were also consumed. Oatmeal, hominy, and shredded wheat were eaten largely, and corn cakes were occasionally served. Bread was almost always taken in the form of dry toast. Potatoes were served twice a day. These were sometimes baked, sometimes boiled and mashed with a little milk and butter added, and at other times ' creamed.' Boiled rice, prepared with a little cream and sugar, was served instead of potatoes at some meals. Beets, parsnips, green peas, and tomatoes were used to furnish a variety of vegetables. Macaroni was occasionally served. For dessert, apple tapioca pudding, custard pudding, or other pudding containing a large proportion of milk and eggs was used. The members of the crew were allowed beer once a day. No pastry was allowed, and the puddings were, as above stated, composed largely of eggs and milk. A small amount of coffee jelly was served, and at one meal during the study ice cream. No fresh fruit was served, with the exception of oranges for breakfast. Stewed prunes, rhubarb, or apples were also eaten, prunes most abundantly.
These experimenters found that the average nutrients consumed per man per diem amounted to 145 grammes protein, 170 grammes fat, and 375 grammes carbohydrates, aggregating 3,705 calories.
Just before racing each man received one ounce of beef extract with eight ounces of dry toast.
A subsequent study of the Harvard University Boat Crew was made in 1899 by E. A. Darling, who reports as follows:
The diet allowed was a very generous one, consisting of a hearty breakfast at 7.30, lunch at 1, and dinner after the evening row. For breakfast the fare consisted of fruit, oatmeal, or shredded wheat, eggs, some form of meat, bread and butter, potato, and milk. At noon there was cold meat, potato, bread and butter, marmalade, preserved fruit, and milk. Dinner comprised soup, occasionally fish, roast beef or some other hot meat, several vegetables, bread and butter, and a simple dessert. No tea or coffee was allowed, but ale or claret was permitted at dinner, also water in small amounts, as desired. During the last week before the race each man received a dish of calf's-foot jelly with sherry wine after the morning row, and a light lunch of oatmeal, milk, and bread was served at 4 o'clock in the afternoon".
Another study of the Harvard Freshman Crew during training was made in 1898 by Atwater and Bryant:
"The men arose at about 7 o'clock. Before this time no noise was allowed in the kitchen or elsewhere. After a short run, breakfast was served at 7.30 o'clock and was quite a hearty meal, consisting principally of oranges, a breakfast cereal, hot meat or fish, and potatoes. During the morning there was usually a practice row on the river, followed by a light lunch at about 11.30 to 12 o'clock. The principal meal of the day was taken early in the afternoon. In the late afternoon the crew had another season of hard work on the river, after which another hearty meal was served. Leisure time was spent in study or recreation".
Sugar in large quantity may be added with advantage to the diet of athletes and soldiers on the march. It may be given with other food, such as cereals, tea and coffee, etc., as is customary with the Cornell University Crew; or it may be given separately either as plain confectionery or in the form of cakes of chocolate. In a recent study of the training diet of boat clubs in Holland as much as one third of a pound of sugar per man per diem was found to be consumed with very marked benefit.
Summary of Results of Dietary Studies of University Boat Crews and other Dietary Studies, by w. 0. Atwater and A. P. Bryant, 1900
(Nutrients in food actually eaten per man per day)
DIETARY STUDIES OF UNIVERSITY BOAT CREWS
Harvard University crew at Cambridge
Harvard Freshman crew at Cambridge
Yale University crew at New Haven
Harvard University crew at Gales Ferry
Harvard Freshman crew at Gales Ferry
Yale University crew at Gales Ferry
Captiam of Harvard Freshman cres
SUMMARISED RESULTS OF OTHER DIETARY STUDIES
Foorball team, college students, Connecticut
Football team, college students, California
Professional athlete, Sandow
Prize fighter, England
Average of 15 college clubs
Average of 14 mechanic's families
Average of 10 farmers' families
Average of 24 mechanics' and farmers' families....
Average of 14 professional men's families
Man with moderate muscular work, Voit
Man with moderate muscular work, Playfair
Man with moderate muscular work, Atwater
Man with hard muscular work, Voit
Man with hard muscular work, Playfair
Man with hard muscular work, Atwater
Man with severe muscular work, Playfair
Man with severe muscular work, Atwater
"The diet of the football team is practically the same as for the crew except for lunch, which is eaten at 1 p. m., the practice taking place from 2.30 to 3.45 or 4 p. m. This one-o'clock meal consists of cold meat, one chop or eggs, hot broth or bouillon, and toast. Milk and oatmeal-water are drunk. Apple sauce is sometimes allowed" (Hartwell).