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College Athletes Need Sports Nutrition Education

There’s a real knowledge gap in what collegiate competitors know about nutrition.

Sports nutrition for female volleyball players

Turns out female collegiate athletes may be missing the mark when it comes to sports nutrition. In a Journal of American College Health study, 14 female collegiate volleyball athletes from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I university were asked to complete a Nutrition for Sports Knowledge Questionnaire once and a dietary intake assessment on four occasions.

The average score on the questionnaire—designed to assess knowledge in various aspects of nutrition including macronutrients and supplements—was less than 50%, suggesting that the athletes are falling short in understanding how to properly fuel their bodies.

Preseason energy and carbohydrate intake were lower than the American College of Sports Medicine Recommendations for these athletes, as well. Since appropriate dietary intake can have a significant influence on athletic performance, female collegiate athletes should be provided with the tools, such as counseling from a sports dietitian, needed to bring their nutrition A-game.

See also: Many Female Athletes Need to Eat More



Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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