Ultra-marathon events (i.e., .42.2-km) continue to grow in popularity; however, little is known regarding the sources of nutrition information which inform their beliefs and habits. The objective of this study was to characterize the acquisition of sport-specific nutrition information among ultra-endurance athletes using a mixed methods design. Qualitative data were collected through focus groups and analyzed using thematic analysis. Three primary higher order themes were identified: Optimal Diet for Ultra-Endurance Athletes, Common Sources of Information, and Barriers to Scientific Information. Then, a self-report inventory (Sources of Nutrition Information-SONI questionnaire) was developed to assess common sources of nutrition information and characterize their beliefs about those sources. Likert-type questions were used, and primary sources were scored out of 3, sub-questions out of 5. Differences between sources were assessed using RM-ANOVA. Participants (N = 224) accessed, responded to, and submitted the survey via a secure, study-specific web-based link. Peer reviewed literature was reported as the most frequently used (mean score = 1.64, p < 0.001), credible (3.02, p < 0.001), and interesting (2.62, p < 0.002). Social media was the most accessible (2.81, p < 0.001), but the least credible (1.87, p < 0.001). While social media was perceived less credible than other sources, its accessibility could make it a promising tool to provide evidence-based nutrition information to this population.
Mahoney, Sara E.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; and Carnes, Andrew J.
"Sources of Nutrition Information in Recreational Ultra-marathon Runners: A Mixed Methods Analysis,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments: Vol. 16
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jhpee/vol16/iss1/1