M. Dowen, S. Brooks, A.F. Brown

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Collegiate athletes face challenges meeting the high demands of practice, training, academic work, travel, and competition. Since the NCAA deregulation in 2015, universities may provide food and beverage items to collegiate athletes. Specifically, Fueling Centers (FC), often located near the weight room, offer snack items to support pre and post exercise nutrition to optimize athletic performance. However, collegiate athletes’ use of FCs and nutrient quality of food and beverage items provided remains unknown. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine collegiate athletes’ utilization of a FC, favorite items consumed (2 items/day), nutrient quality of items offered, as well as ideal items to be offered in the future. METHODS: Male (n= 53) and female (n= 24) collegiate athletes completed a survey including demographic information and FC utilization questions. Favorite items consumed were analyzed using Food Processor (ESHA, 10.13.1, Salem, OR) to determine nutrient quality. Athletes reported what time they frequented the FC as well as their consumption timing (pre or post workout). RESULTS: Collegiate athletes (n=77, 20 ± 2.5 years) who completed the survey consisted of freshmen (n=18), sophomore (n=14), junior (n=23), senior (n=18), and 5th year seniors (n=3). Football (n=41), cross country & track (n=10), women’s basketball (n=8), men’s basketball (n=5), women’s tennis (n=3), soccer (n=7), volleyball (n=2), and men’s golf (n=1) reported their favorite FC items as sports beverages (n=33;CHO= 21g, PRO=2.2g, FAT=0g), flavored protein drinks (n=16;CHO=28g, PRO=26g, FAT=3.5g), milk (n=5;CHO=20g, PRO=26g, FAT=0g), and cereal (n=4;CHO=53g, PRO=10g, FAT=1g). Additionally, athletes reported future items including sandwiches (n=18), wraps (n=6), smoothies (n=4) protein shakes (n=3), and beef jerky (n=2). The FC was utilized most frequently from 1:30-2:00pm (n=43), 8:00-9:00am (n=31), and 7:15-8:00am (n=22) for both pre and post workout nutrition (n=47). CONCLUSION: The utilization and preferences of the FC was predominately composed of sports drinks for both pre and post nutrition as opposed to whole food options which may provide greater macronutrient and micronutrient quality. Therefore, nutrition education is warranted to provide optimal fueling strategies for training and performance.

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