Nutritional Supplement Use and Athletic Characteristics among a Sample of NCAA Division I and Division III Student-Athletes

Kristen P. Hamilton, Jane Ziegler, Hamed Samavat, Floris Wardenaar, Carrie Esopenko, Jason Womack, Jason Krystofiak, Laura Byham-Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Due to documented adverse events, understanding the prevalence of nutritional supplements commonly used by athletes is essential. This cross-sectional study used data from a web-based survey conducted in February-March 2022. Participants were Division I (DI) and Division III (DIII) student-athletes of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Chi-square tests were conducted to identify the differences in the prevalence of demographic and athletic characteristics between the divisions. Multivariable odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders to determine the predictors of supplement usage. A total of 247 NCAA student-athletes (72.5% Division I, 27.5% Division III) completed the survey, yielding a 24.5% response rate. There were no significant differences between nutritional supplementation and NCAA divisions. Instead, all student-athletes used supplements regardless of division. There were significant differences in race, ethnicity, sports dietitian access, name, image, and likeness (NIL), advisement to consume NS, and knowledge of NS between the divisions (all P-values < 0.01). Unadjusted regression models showed that being in an upper-level academic standing was associated with higher odds of using sports food and ergogenic supplements than student-athletes with a lower-level academic standing. However, multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that none of the demographic and athletic characteristics significantly affected supplement usage. Allocating resources for access to sports dietitians and supplement education for all divisions may benefit student-athletes knowledge and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Dietary Supplements
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • athlete
  • dietary supplement
  • knowledge
  • safety
  • sports nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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