Exploring the Relationship Between Nutrition Knowledge and Mental Well-Being: Research on Master Athletes Participating in Recreational Marathons

Main Article Content

Arif Çetin
Oktay Akyüz
Mustafa Can Koç
Ayşe Demir
Aydın Pekel

Keywords

Nutrition, mental-well-being, recreation, master athletes

Abstract

The present descriptive correlational study attempted to unlock the relationship between nutrition knowledge and mental well-being among master athletes participating in the 44th Istanbul Marathon. Using the convenience sampling technique, we recruited 137 master athletes, 19 females (13.9%) and 118 males (86.1%), competing in the said marathon. Besides, we collected the data using a demographic information form, the Nutrition Knowledge Level Scale for Adults (basic nutrition and nutrition-health knowledge and dietary preferences preference), and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale. Then, we utilized descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation analysis, and stepwise regression analysis to analyze the data. All analyses were performed on the SPSS 24.0 program, and a p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The regression analysis revealed that the participants’ nutrition knowledge and dietary preferences significantly predicted their mental well-being. The relationships between nutrition knowledge, dietary preferences, and mental well-being seem to be intricate and multifaceted. Yet, previous evidence supports the idea that proper nutrition and mental well-being are positively correlated in athletics. Similarly, our findings indicated that sustaining a healthy diet and dietary preferences can contribute to athletes’ mental well-being, particularly in events demanding endurance (e.g., marathons). A well-balanced, nutrient-rich, and hydrating diet not only aids in training and recovery but also improves mental well-being. Therefore, athletes should implement a periodized, individualized plan prioritizing a variety of foods to satisfy their caloric needs.

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