Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Heidi Wengreen


Heidi Wengreen


Sheryl Aguilar


Travis Dorsch


Dietary supplements are a booming business in the United States. Currently over half of Americans have taken a dietary supplement in the last year. Collegiate and professional athletes are even more likely to take a dietary supplement to get a competitive edge over their opponents. The objective of this study was to assess dietary supplement use in club athletes at Utah State University. Club athletes are non-scholarship athletes associated with a university. They often do not the same level of funding or resources that NCAA or scholarship athletes have. A survey was sent to all 401 club athletes at Utah State University electronically. 49 club athletes responded to the survey. Of those that responded 65% reported using a dietary supplement in the last two months. The most common dietary supplements consumed were protein, caffeine or energy drinks, Vitamin D, multivitamins, and fish oil. The most common reasons for taking a dietary supplement were to support energy, gain muscle or strength and general health. Both parents and friends were equally selected as the athlete’s source of information about dietary supplement use. Overall, dietary supplement use was less than expected for a collegiate athlete. The supplements consumed and reasons for taking supplements were in line with current research on NCAA athletes. The objective of the second study was to assess how to engage the student athlete. Currently there is limited research on how to engage collegiate athletes in sports nutrition programming. Semi-structured interviews were set up with Division I university sports dietitians. These interviews revealed that physical presence was the biggest contributor to increasing participation in sport nutrition programming. This is due to the athlete will build rapport and trust with the sports dietitian and will be more likely to believe them and come to them when they have a nutritional concern. All universities had similar sport nutrition programming. All universities offered one-on-one nutritional counseling, group talks, grocery store tours, cooking classes or demos, and body composition testing. The most frequent request of service from the student-athletes were body composition testing and one-on-one nutritional counseling. The information collected in this study was used to create recommendations for future effective sport nutrition programming with club athletes at Utah State University.



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