Collegiate Athletes’ Knowledge of Nutrition and Sports Performance

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Virginia Tech


This study examined Virginia Tech female collegiate athletes’ knowledge and perspectives of nutrition and its relationship to sports performance. Although various studies have examined the nutritional knowledge of collegiate athletes, the knowledge and perspectives of athletes on the value of nutrition to their performance needs further study. This current study aims to investigate the nutrition knowledge and perspectives relating to athletic performance of Virginia Tech female collegiate athletes through structured interviews using a literature-based interview guide, and to assess the dietary actions and sources of nutrition information in this population. A total of ten student-athletes participated in the interview process via Zoom. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) served as the theoretical framework for development of the interview questions and analysis of responses. Content analysis of transcribed interviews was conducted using a hybrid deductive and inductive approach. Information from the interviews fell into four broad themes related to nutrition and athletic performance, focus on balance, schedule considerations, planning ahead, and terminology confusion. This study found female collegiate athletes from Virginia Tech showed a lack of understanding of nutrition as it relates to athletic performance. Despite the fact that respondents think nutrition has a significant impact on sports performance, these participants only gave nutrition a partial significance in their daily lives.