Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Kunkel, Elizabeth

Committee Member

Delicio , Gail

Committee Member

Fraser , Angela


There is a significant body of research on the relationships between exercise and nutrition for enhancing athletic performance. However, there is a deficit of research on the relationship between time of eating and athletic injuries. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the time of eating and athletic injuries in collegiate student-athletes. Given the potential relationship between night eating, sleep disruption, and impaired wound healing, the hypothesis of this research is that eating late at night increases the incidence of chronic athletic injuries.
Data from a convenience sample of 34 student-athletes, 8 male and 26 female, were collected at Clemson University, an NCAA Division 1 school, in Fall 2008. The student-athletes completed a survey regarding incidence of chronic and acute injuries within the past 3 months and a 3-day record of sleeping times and food consumed. The results from a logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds ratio for energy intake and chronic injury is 1.009, meaning that the odds of sustaining a chronic injury were estimated to increase by a factor of 1.009 for every calorie consumed between 9 pm and 12 am although calories is not a significant predictor of the incidence of awaking during the night (p=0.65). Other findings were that student-athletes consumed less energy than the national average for their ages. Also, more than 80% of male and female student-athletes in the total study sample did not meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. None of the males met the RDA for folate. On the other hand, male student-athletes consumed 194% of daily value for sodium while female student-athletes consumed 168% of the daily value. There are opportunities for student-athletes to improve their nutrient intake without regard to time of eating even though there is a slight increase in risk of a chronic injury associated with increased energy intake at night.

Included in

Nutrition Commons



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