Perceptions of the importance of sports nutrition knowledge and barriers in implementing them: a qualitative study among track and field stakeholders in Sri Lanka

Ranil Jayawardena, Kalani Weerasinghe, Terrence Madhujith, Andrew P. Hills, Nishan Kalupahana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Integrating the core aspects of sports nutrition knowledge [SNK] into the multidisciplinary team is critical to improving an athlete’s performance and well-being. Conducting in-depth interviews with members of the sports-related team is a comprehensive method of gathering information on various aspects of SNK. This qualitative study aimed to examine the opinions and beliefs of stakeholders in athletics regarding the importance of SNK. Methods: Fifteen professional track and field athletes and stakeholders were recruited into the study. Separate in-depth interviews were conducted to collect information within four key themes. Practical difficulties in getting an appropriate meal were included in an additional theme. Thematic analysis was performed using NVIVO v10.0. Results: All participants were mindful of the importance of proper food habits for overall athletic outcomes and reported different opinions on meal timing and composition. The opinions on supplements were heterogeneous and both positive and negative claims were reported. Beliefs regarding hydration demonstrated that the cohort was well aware of the significance of adequate hydration plus the signs and consequences of dehydration with many reporting experiences of the negative consequences of dehydration. All respondents reported that both alcohol and smoking may have an adverse impact on performance and health. Conclusions: All respondents emphasized the importance of proper food habits for sports performance and well-being, but also identified barriers to optimizing nutrition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalBMC Nutrition
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Athletic
  • Knowledge
  • Perception
  • Sports nutrition
  • Sri Lanka
  • Stakeholder
  • Track and field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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