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Sport nutrition knowledge has been shown to influence dietary habits of athletes. The purpose of the current study was to examine relationships between sport nutrition knowledge and body composition and examine potential predictors of body weight goals in collegiate athletes. Participants included National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III women (n = 42, height: 169.9 ± 6.9 cm; body mass: 67.1 ± 8.6 kg; fat-free mass: 51.3 ± 6.6 kg; body fat percent: 24.2 ± 5.3%) and men (n = 25, height: 180.8 ± 7.2 cm; body mass: 89.2 ± 20.5 kg; fat-free mass: 75.9 ± 12.2 kg; body fat percent: 13.5 ± 8.9%) athletes. Body composition was assessed via air displacement plethysmography. Athletes completed a validated questionnaire designed to assess sport nutrition knowledge and were asked questions about their perceived dietary energy and macronutrient requirements, as well as their body weight goal (i.e., lose, maintain, gain weight). Athletes answered 47.98 ± 11.29% of questions correctly on the nutrition questionnaire with no differences observed between sexes (men: 49.52 ± 11.76% vs. women: 47.03 ± 11.04%; p = 0.40). An inverse relationship between sport nutrition knowledge scores and body fat percentage (BF%) (r = -0.330; p = 0.008), and fat mass (r = -0.268; p = 0.032) was observed for all athletes. Fat mass (β = 0.224), BF% (β = 0.217), and body mass index (BMI) (β = 0.421) were all significant (p < 0.05) predictors of body weight goal in women. All athletes significantly (p < 0±001) underestimated daily energy (-1360 ± 610.2 kcal/day), carbohydrate (-301.6 ± 149.2 grams/day [g/day]), and fat (-41.4 ± 34.5 g/day) requirements. Division III collegiate athletes have a low level of sport nutrition knowledge, which was associated with a higher BF%. Women athletes with a higher body weight, BF% and BMI were more likely to select weight loss as a body weight goal. Athletes also significantly underestimated their energy and carbohydrate requirements based upon the demands of their sport, independent of sex.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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