Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dan Benardot - Chair
Walter R. Thompson
Background: Sustaining a hydration state and energy status during competition is important for athletes, yet there is no current evidence in the literature that halftime hydration and snacking practices of basketball and football players have been assessed. Under ideal circumstances, proper hydration and food consumption practices should be followed by basketball and football players before, during and after practices and competitions because both sports involve fast rate of energy utilization with a concomitant increase in sweat production.
Objectives: This study aimed to improve our understanding of the halftime hydration and snacking practices used by basketball and football players at the collegiate and professional levels.
Methods: A total of 122 subjects filled out a halftime habit survey. The survey was completely anonymous to protect the identity of the athletes participating in the study. Athletic trainers and coaches of basketball and football teams, athlete agents, other athletic team employees, and players were contacted and provided with copies of a questionnaire to distribute to athletes. Data were analyzed using PASW Statistics 18. Data for height and weight were analyzed using descriptive statistics and all remaining data were analyzed using crosstabs and included a Chi Square Test.
Results: Of the beverages consumed by the 122 athletes surveyed, there was a statistically significant difference between sports in the consumption of Gatorade (n=89, p-.045), Powerade (n=41, p<.001), Powerade Zero (n=1, p=.020), and water (n=96, p=.049). There was a statistically significant difference between sports in the consumption of energy bars (n=62, p=<.001) and fresh fruit (n=41, p=.033). There was a statistically significant difference between sports in the purchase of snacks for halftime (p=.004) and the frequency of halftime snacking habits (p<.001). There is a statistically significant difference between sports in the halftime recommendations of teams for both hydration (p<.001) and snacking (p<.001). There is a statistically significant difference among sports in the influence of first half drinking practices on halftime hydration habits (p=.035). There is a statistically significant difference among sports in the extent of weight lost during a game (p<.001).
Conclusions: The results of this study show that athletes have the time and resources to drink and snack a the halftime break to replenish glycogen stores and rehydrate for the second half of the game. Athletes, whether by recommendation or by habit, consume a variety of beverages and snacks during the halftime breaks of games. It is still uncertain as to whether or not these hydration and snacking habits actually replenish glycogen stores and rehydrate the athletes for the second half of games. Future studies should be done to determine whether the hydration and snacking habits are maintaining hydration and sustaining blood glucose for better performance.
Nathanson, Desiree L., "Halftime Hydration and Snacking Practices in Collegiate and Professional Basketball and Football Players" (2010). Nutrition Theses. Paper 8.