Assessment of sport nutrition knowledge, dietary practices, and sources of nutrition information in ncaa division iii collegiate athletes

Dylan J. Klein, Kaitlyn M. Eck, Alan J. Walker, Joseph K. Pellegrino, Daniel Freidenreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nutrition knowledge is a critical component of meeting sport nutrition guidelines. The present study aimed to evaluate the sport nutrition knowledge of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III (DIII) athletes using a validated questionnaire, and to assess the dietary practices and sources of nutrition information in this population. A total of 331 student-athletes (n = 149 males, n = 181 females, n = 1 no sex indicated) completed the questionnaire. The mean score for total sport nutrition knowledge was 6.49 ± 8.9 (range −49 to 49) with a mean percent (%) correct score of 36.9 ± 19.1%. Athletes who had a previous college-level nutrition course (n = 62) had significantly higher (p < 0.05) total sport nutrition, carbohydrate, and hydration knowledge compared to those who did not (n = 268). Individual sport athletes (n = 90) scored significantly higher (p < 0.05) on hydration and micronutrients knowledge than team sport athletes (n = 237), while females scored higher than males for hydration knowledge (p < 0.05). The majority of athletes reported sensible dietary habits, such as not frequently skipping meals and eating carbohydrate and protein foods peri-workout. Athletes also reported their primary sources of nutrition information, the top three sources being social media, coaches, and athletic trainers, despite most frequently rating registered dietitians/nutritionists as “extremely knowledgeable”. Despite low sport nutrition knowledge, NCAA DIII collegiate athletes practiced seemingly prudent dietary habits but lacked exposure to high-quality sources of nutrition information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2962
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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