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Krystle E. Zuniga, Darcy L. Downey, Ryan McCluskey and Carley Rivers

The majority of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) programs do not have a sports nutritionist, leaving athletes to gather information from resources that vary in reputability. The objective of this study was to identify a need for the development of accessible and reputable resources of nutrition information by assessing the current use of nutrition information resources, dietary habits, and sports nutrition knowledge among Division I collegiate athletes. Seventy-two athletes across eight sports completed questionnaires concerning nutrition resources used, dietary habits, and sports nutrition knowledge. In addition, interest levels in a mobile device application for delivery of nutrition information and tools were assessed. Primary sources for nutrition information included parents and family, athletic trainers (AT), and the internet/media, and athletes felt most comfortable discussing nutrition with parents and family, ATs, and strength and conditioning specialists. Performance on a sports nutrition knowledge questionnaire indicated a general lack of nutrition knowledge, and the high frequency of “unsure” responses suggested a lack of confidence in nutrition knowledge. Athletes conveyed a high likelihood that they would use a mobile device application as a nutrition resource, but were more interested in access to nutrition topics than tools such as a food log. We found that college athletes possess minimal sports nutrition knowledge, obtain nutrition information from nonprofessional resources, and were interested in utilizing a mobile device application as a resource. Further research is needed to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of alternative resources, such as a mobile device application, to deliver nutrition information and improve nutrition knowledge.