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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics