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South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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Nutritional knowledge and status of coaches in various sporting codes

Günay Eskici, Hakan Yarar, Hürmüz Koç

Abstract


Coaches have an important responsibility in the lives of athletes since athletes often use them as a source of advice for various performance-related issues, such as the nutritional regime. This descriptive  study set out to identify the nutritional knowledge and nutritional status of coaches from various sport  codes, as well as their nutrition recommendations for their athletes. The study included 165 individuals from different sporting codes i.e. team, strength, explosive power and endurance sports. Coaches were  given a self-administered questionnaire with 76 questions. Most coaches had poor diet choices. For  instance, the number of coaches who regularly consume vegetables, fruits and fish was low and most  skipped meals attributable to limited opportunities and/or not feeling hungry. 76% of the 165 coaches  alleged that they had sufficient knowledge about nutrition and 82% of the coaches provided knowledge  about nutrition to their athletes. There was a significant difference among coaches of different sport codes in their recommendations concerning nutritional  ergogenic supplements (p<0.01). The coaches of strength sport mostly recommended proteins/amino acid  supplements. Coaches predominantly gave the correct or expected answer to both general nutritional  knowledge and sport nutritional knowledge questions. However, the suggestions that coaches made to their athletes about training nutrition was inadequate.


Key words: Coaches; Nutritional knowledge; Nutritional status.




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