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Enliven: Journal of Dietetics Research and Nutrition






Eliven Archive

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Objective: Assess the nutritional needs of, and attitude towards expanding the provision of nutrition services to a division 1 football team who does not have a sports dietitian or a training table. Methods: A 26-item questionnaire was developed by two sports dietitians and administered to a football team from a small division 1 school. Demographic information, dietary fueling practices, and football players’ attitudes towards the provision of additional nutrition services was assessed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize athlete demographic characteristics, and Chi squared analysis assessed differences in responses based on grade in school, position, and residence. Results: Seventy-six football players (90% response rate) completed the questionnaire. Sixty-nine percent reported trying to change their weight. The majority reported not consuming pre-workout and/or game snacks (88% and 92%, respectively). Eighty percent of athletes reported consuming only water during exercise, and 75% reported a lack of energy during a workout. Most (93.4%) believed they would benefit from a training table; however, only 42% were willing to have funds reallocated from their stipends to finance it. Results from Chi Squared tests revealed no significant differences in the number of athletes willing to use their stipends for a training table based on year in school (p=0.957), position (p=0.54), or residence (on campus vs off-campus) (p=0.982). Most (97%) athletes believed proper nutrition would enhance their performance, and 91% were willing to meet with a dietitian. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the football athletes’ fueling and hydration strategies are not sufficient to promote optimal performance and that the athletes believe they would benefit from an expanded provision of nutrition services. Further research is needed to determine effectiveness of training tables as well as the feasibility and sustainability in funding to support a sports dietitian nutritionist and/or training table.

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