|dc.description.abstract||Background: Athletes increasingly skip meals because they lack time or knowledge to prepare their own meals; mobile applications have been proposed as a potential solution to this problem. Adherence to mobile app tracking may vary, but self-motivation and nutrition knowledge has been shown to increase chances of behavior change while using an app.
Objective: Determine if female college athletes? nutrition/fueling behaviors changed over four weeks by utilizing a mobile application for tracking fueling practices.
Design: Pilot study with cohort of 17 female TCU NCAA Beach Volleyball athletes.
Methods: Pre and post-study questionnaires examined attitudes toward mobile applications, dietary behaviors, and frequency of fueling habits. Athletes also attended a pre-study training session about utilizing the Eat2Win app. Data analyses included recorded frequency of application usage and logged meals per/day plus impact on dietary behaviors/fueling habits. Study procedures were approved by TCU IRB. Participant informed consent was obtained. Data were analyzed to meet study objectives (SPSS, p<0.05).
Results: Most athletes (82%) disliked using the Eat2Win app, where app usage decreased from 88% in week one to 18% app usage at the completion of the study. Reasons for the pronounced decrease in usage included frequent app crashes, too time consuming, and limited phone storage space. Additionally, results did not show improvement in athletes? eating habits with app usage. Although pre-study results showed 42% of athletes did not consistently eat breakfast and/or eat/drink something every 3-4 hours, those athletes who reported greater frequency of eating breakfast and/or every 3-4 hours or refueling one hour after practice, maintained consistent positive eating behaviors throughout the study. These same athletes also reported greater energy levels overall (r=.671; p<0.01).
Conclusions: Study results emphasize the importance of implementing user-friendly mobile apps for athletes that are time-use efficient and offer calorie counting and picture logging functions to promote change in dietary and refueling practices.||