Volume 12 Supplement 1
The effects of a sports nutrition education intervention on nutritional status, sport nutrition knowledge, body composition, and performance in NCAA Division I baseball players
© Cholewa et al. 2015
Published: 21 September 2015
Maintaining energy balance by consuming the required distribution of macronutrients (nutritional status) is important to support performance and health in collegiate athletes; however, less than 10% of NCAA athletes possess adequate sports nutrition knowledge or maintain nutritional status (Torres-McGehee et al., 2012). A recent study demonstrated that a sports nutrition education intervention (SNEI) improved nutritional knowledge and nutritional status in Division I volleyball players. This study investigated the effects of an SNEI on nutritional status, knowledge, body composition, and performance in NCAA Division I baseball players.
Thirty resistance trained NCAA Division I baseball players (82.4 ± 8.2 kg; 183 ± 6.3 cm; 13.7 ± 5% bodyfat) participated in the 12-week study. Fifteen players volunteered for the SNEI while 15 players matched for position served as controls (C). All players participated in a monitored, periodized strength (4 hr/wk), conditioning 3 hr/wk), and skills (20 hr/wk) training program. The nutrition intervention group (N) received a 90 min SNEI encompassing the following topics: energy intake (Kcal), carbohydrate (CHO), protein (PRO), fat, food sources, and hydration. Thereafter, N met once every three weeks with the primary researcher for educational reinforcement in groups of 5. Sport nutrition knowledge questionnaires (Reilly & Maughan, 2007) were administered to N at baseline (t-0) and following 12 weeks (t-12). Food intake was determined by three-day dietary logs administered to N at t-0 and t-12. Energy and macronutrient intake was calculated using Diet Analysis Plus (Cengage), and compared to nutritional requirements (Kcal: 45 kcal/kg; PRO: 2 g/kg; CHO 6 g/kg; Fat 1.5 g/kg). Body composition (BodPod), 1 RM back squat, vertical jump, and broad jump were measured at t-0 and t-12 for C and N. Pre and post nutritional status and knowledge were analyzed using paired samples t-test for N. Changes in body composition and performance were compared between C and N using an independent groups t-test with an alpha level of 0.05 for all tests.
Knowledge significantly (p < 0.05) increased from t-0 to t-12 (56 ± 11% vs. 70 ± 9%). Energy consumption was significantly (p < 0.05) less than requirements at t-0 (35.5 ± 6.6 kcal/kg) and significantly (p < 0.05) increased to meet requirements at t-12 (41.2 ± 5.2 kcal/kg). CHO was significantly (p < 0.05) less than requirements at t-0 (3.6 ± 1.1 g/kg) and t-12 (3.8 ± 0.8 g/kg). PRO was significantly (p < 0.05) less than requirements at t-0 (1.7 ± 0.4 g/kg) and significantly increased (p < 0.05) at t-12 (2.2 ± 0.4 g/kg). Fat was not significantly (p > 0.05) different than requirements at t-0 (1.6 ± 0.3 g/kg) and significantly (p < 0.05) increased above requirements at t-12 (2.0 ± 0.4 g/kg). Fat free mass and body mass significantly (p < 0.05) increased (Δ = 3.7 ± 3.6 kg; 3.3 ± 4.8 kg, respectively) with no difference between groups. Percent body fat decreased significantly (p < 0.05) in N (Δ= -1.2 ± 2.3%) but not C (Δ = 0.3 ± 1.7%). Squat, vertical, and broad jump significantly (p < 0.05) increased (Δ = 25.5 ± 15.9 kg; .144 ± 0.09 m; .135 ± 0.1 m, respectively) with no difference between groups.
Our findings indicate that an off season SNEI is effective at improving sport nutrition knowledge and some, but not all nutrient intakes in Division I baseball players. Improvements in nutritional status were associated with decreases in body fat percentage, possibly attributable to increased protein consumption.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.