• Nutrition knowledge of professional football players aged 16-18 years old

      Fallows, Stephen; Evans, Lauren (University of Chester, 2009)
      Nutrition knowledge in general has an important role in determining an individual’s health and fitness. Sports nutrition is an essential part of an athlete’s program as without the right nutrition, fitness and performance may be hindered. There is a shortage of studies on nutritional knowledge on football players and no studies were found with participants under 18 years old. The importance of nutrition and hydration in young football players cannot be stressed enough. Despite these facts, it is not evident that any particular nutrition education provisions are currently in place to target this vulnerable group. For this reason, it was hypothesised that nutrition knowledge amongst this group would be poor. The study aimed to assess the nutrition knowledge and attitudes of professional football players aged 16-18 years old and to identify any areas of weakness. A nutrition knowledge questionnaire was administered to 48 professional male football players aged 16-18 years old. Three professional clubs participated in the study. 19 players from a Premier League club, 15 from a League Two club and 14 from a League One club. The mean overall nutrition knowledge score for the football players was 63%. There was no significant difference in nutrition knowledge found between clubs. No significant difference in mean scores for subsections of the questionnaire; general nutrition, sports nutrition, supplements and hydration were found. Nutrition attitudes of the players were positive overall, with 100% of players aware of the importance of nutrition for performance. 94% of players believed they would benefit from more nutritional advice. Nutrition scores reflect a good overall knowledge of nutrition for football however, players still believe that they would benefit from more nutritional information emphasising the need for nutrition education in team sports.