Four hundred thirty varsity college athletes representing eight sports from six randomly selected universities were surveyed about nutrition knowledge, practice and information sources. The survey was administered on a voluntary basis by each school's strength and conditioning coordinator. Results indicated that athletes derive most of their nutrition information from popular magazines. Consequently, much of their information stems from media hype and exaggerated advertisements largely unsupported by scientific research. In rank order, nutrition information was distributed by popular magazines, trainers, friends, college courses, strength and conditioning coordinators, sport coaches, parents and high school courses. Of these, only trainers and college courses have been found to be accurate sources of nutrition information. Low scores on nutrition questionnaires, by athletes as well as coaches, merit additional nutrition education for all athletes. Because strength coaches are in close contact with athletes and a convenient source of information about increasing athletic performance, it was recommended that prospective strength coaches have documented proof of nutrition education as a certification requirement.
(C) 1991 National Strength and Conditioning Association