Should College Athletes Be Paid: Exploring Nutrition for Athletes

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This project will focus on the global context of identities and relationships, specifically relating to personal, physical, and mental health, as well as what it means to be human. I chose this topic because I wanted to learn about nutrition for athletes and be able to explain it. I intend to specifically focus on the physical health of someone. I wanted to do this topic because I want to be able to educate people on the proper nutrition they should have when they are in training.


Unveiling the Global Context

The personal topic I picked is nutrition for athletes. This topic interested me because many of my friends are athletes, and they don’t eat the proper nutrition before meets. This topic is also interesting because nutrition is something that is stressed by many parents, coaches, and competitors. I would like to be able to educate them on what they should eat properly. I had multiple prior experiences before I started this topic because I have been learning about nutrition ever since I started running from some of my past coaches. This fits the project because it relates to learning how to improve personal, physical, and mental health and learn about how the body functions. For my project, I intend to create a magazine that tells people about proper nutrition. My inquiry question was, What are some effective ways that I can help educate athletes on proper nutrition? The process I used was my former knowledge of nutrition to help educate more people about it. My question requires more than a simple answer because first, I have to explain the topic to different people in various ways to see which way helped them understand the best.

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You can recognize the global context in my question by seeing that I’m going to tell people about what nutrients are best for their bodies. They can see the topic in the question because it talks about proper nutrition for athletes. The topic of nutrition is recognized in the question because it asks about how I can effectively educate athletes on proper nutrition. In order to start this project, it was necessary to learn background information on topics such as the nutritional needs of athletes, the functions of different nutrients, and the foods that contain necessary nutrients. Information on how nutrition fuels athletes and the different diets some athletes use to reach optimal levels of performance was also helpful.

Delving into Nutritional Knowledge: Building the Foundation

In order to find this information, databases such as JSTOR and Encyclopedia Britannica were used, with access gained through the King County Library System’s online databases. Google Scholar was also used for finding documents and academic journal articles. Many different articles were printed, read, and annotated. The first source that was used was an online encyclopedia, which provided basic information on food and nutrition. It was helpful because it was a basic overview and included definitions of vocabulary used in the other sources used, such as scholarly journals. Articles from journals of health, journals of dieticians, journals of athletics, and journals of sports science were each used to gain information relating to their respective topics. The scholarly journals gave information, including experiments on how nutrition plans and nutrition knowledge influence athletes, recommendations for different food intake, the timing of intake, and hydration. The resources I used for my project were websites, reports, and videos.

I used them because they told me the necessary basic nutrition that everyone needs. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, nutrition is the ‘process by which the body nourishes itself by transforming food into energy and body tissues.’ (para 1). This article also explained how ‘the body needs these nutrients to help it make energy; to grow, repair, and maintain its tissues; and to keep its different systems working smoothly.’ Some of the websites were better than others, like the Encyclopedia Britannica or the article by Nancy Cortugna, Connie E. Vickery, and Sheldon McBee, called “Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes,” “Athletes have unique needs that include sufficient calorie intake for sport, adequate hydration, and timing of meals for peak performance; however they are often misinformed or have misconceptions about these topics.” (para 1). According to LK Purcell, “Macronutrients, micronutrients, and fluids in the proper amounts are essential to provide energy for growth and activity.” (para 1). Sources were determined if they were reliable depending on how in-depth they went about a topic. I did have some difficulties finding sources that weren’t websites. I did not use any electronic resources. I did not use any human resources.

Reflecting on the Journey: A Holistic Growth Experience

I decided what information to use by taking notes on the resources and comparing them to see which ones had better information. Some of the sources gave the same information, so I compared them to see which one gave the information better. Also, sources were used if they gave useful information like experiments on how nutrition plans and nutrition knowledge influence athletes, recommendations for different food intake, the timing of intake, and hydration. Planning- The goal of this project is to find out and educate about nutrition habits that benefit performance in athletic competitions. The specifications I put into place to help me successfully complete my project are finding reliable resources that can be used to find specific information on the topic, organizing and explaining the information, and creating a report and magazine that shows the information. I will be able to explain it to at least twelve people, and at least six people will be able to explain it back. Success in this project will be at least me explaining it to twelve people, and at least six of them can explain it back to me. I would like to achieve this goal by the end of this project.

My goal is challenging enough for me because I have a hard time explaining things to people, and if I am able to explain it to twelve people, then I will make it more challenging by adding more people. My first goal was to finish the research by the 21st of October then I will have the reports parts 1 and 2 done by November 5th. I will start the format of the magazine by November 8th, and the product will be complete by November 27th. In the month of December, reports 3 and 4 will be done by the 3rd, and the whole project will be finished by the 17. A short-term goal is to have my goals completed a couple of days early, and a long-term goal is to have my whole project done a couple of days early.

Planning and Achieving: A Journey of Self-Management

On November 5th, we worked on Criterion A and B, and I finished it. Since I had time, I also started to work on my magazine so that I could make sure it was done and that I had time to explain it to people and have them make corrections. My project will be complete when I have explained nutrition to twelve people, and at least six have explained it back to me, and I have also researched nutrition habits that are beneficial in athletic competition. This connects back to my long-term goal because I wanted to have the research and magazine done a couple of days early.

But I already have it done, and I have had three people look over it. Taking Action- Knowledge gained from researching the topic influenced the steps in completing this project. The project was originally based on an idea and research question based on my prior knowledge of the topic. As information was gained, various parts of nutrition that each affect an athlete’s performance were revealed. This information found was used to determine what was most important to explain to people and focus the research on what should be eaten, when it should be eaten, and how athletes should be hydrated, allowing more in-depth research to be done on each part of the general topic. Another fact that was revealed was that different people had very different nutritional needs. Athletes need different diets to improve their performance based on age and gender, what sport they play, their position, their training, and other factors. This led to the decision to focus mainly on high school and college athletes who often do not have as much nutrition guidance.

The goal of this personal project is to find out about nutrition habits that help performance in athletic competition, including good caloric and nutrient intake, hydration, and timing of meals, to help athletes become better aware of the impact of nutrition on athletic performance by providing information through a presentation. I was also to explain it to twelve people, and at least six could explain it back to me. This project was successful and completed because the research question was answered through online research, and a final product of good quality was created to aid the presentation of the information found. I solved my problem of not being able to find a lot of sources that weren’t websites by digging deeper, and I also read a lot of Google Scholar articles. A specific technique I gained as a result of my investigation is being able to write notes better. Normally, when I have to write notes, I typically write most of what it tells me, but throughout the project, I got better at just writing important words or phrases.

The Road to Success: Overcoming Challenges and Achievements

While doing this project, I did alter my goal. My goal changed from explaining nutrition for athletes to twelve people and at least six being able to explain it back to me to do that and find out about nutrition habits that benefit performance in the athletic competition, which also includes good caloric and nutrient intake, hydration, and timing of meals. I made the change because I felt like just explaining it would be easier for me because I have learned a lot about nutrition, but I thought that I should deepen my knowledge and also educate people about it. I believe that I successfully achieved my goal because I have explained it to twelve people, and eight people explained it back to me. This shows that my ability to explain things to people has improved over the project. I also did research on my project, and I learned some interesting things. An interesting thing that I learned was that protein bars are not really healthy.

I did not have to alter my specifications during the project. The personal project is assessed based on four objectives: investigating, planning, taking action, and reflecting. Criterion A is investigating, which assesses the following: defining a goal and global context, identifying prior knowledge, and demonstrating research skills, such as selection, evaluation, and application of sources. This project should receive a 7 out of 8 for criterion A because there is a clear and highly challenging goal that is based on personal interests, and excellent research skills are demonstrated. Criterion B is planning, which assesses the following: developing criteria for the product, recording the process of the project, and demonstrating self-management skills. For this criterion, the project should receive an 8 out of 8 because the project was well planned and managed, and the process of the project was well recorded in the process journal. Criterion C is taking action and assessing the product created in response to the goal and the demonstration of communication and social skills used. This project should receive a 7 out of 8 for this criterion because it resulted in a product that met the goals of the project, in an explanatory magazine and a good presentation of information to other students. Criterion D is reflecting, which assesses the evaluation of the quality of the product and the reflection on development as IB learners.

Paving the Path to Informed Performance

This project should receive a 7 out of 8 for this criteria because the project was carefully thought through and reflected on, as shown in this report. Reflecting- The completion of this process has resulted in extended knowledge and understanding of the topic of nutrition for athletes and the area of interaction of personal, physical, and mental health. Research for this project answered many questions about nutrition and brought a much deeper understanding and appreciation for food and nutrition. My goal of explaining things to people also had a big part in helping my explanation skills develop more. This project helped bring development in learning. The project taught methods of formal research, annotation, and evaluation of sources. It also taught decision-making based on acquired knowledge and using the information to create a final product to convey information to other students. It was also important to learn to set goals, self-manage, and organize to stay on task and complete the full process on time. The project required a paper of over 1500 words using MLA format. This required attention to detail and requirements to meet a specific format and is important to learn for future IB or job papers. Finally, the presentation had several requirements, including a time requirement, a dress requirement, an explanation of a product, and receiving and answering questions.

In order to meet these requirements, practices were helpful in making the presentation flow smoothly, as well as learning to be calm and professional for an audience. I believe I did really well on my project (7 out of 8) because I feel like I managed my time wisely and I used a lot of sources. I also finished my project early, and I was able to have other people correct it. For a future project, I would improve on planning out my project, and I would also make sure that I did my project on time and not procrastinate. An existing skill I improved throughout this project is being able to explain things to people better. Originally my goal was to explain nutrition to athletes to twelve people and have at least six explain it back to me, but I actually had eight people explain it back to me, which was really good because it showed that I was able to explain it better. During this project, I learned that I am better at taking action and investigating than planning. Planning was something I should work on more.


Throughout this process, I found myself exhibiting a lot of IB learner profiles, but the ones that I found myself mostly using were an inquirer, communicator, thinker, knowledgeable, balanced, and risk-taker. I found myself using these traits a lot when I was researching and when I had to balance other activities while doing this project. I also improved my communication skills because I was able to explain nutrition to people, and a lot of them understood it. The completion of this project influenced ideas about nutrition and other factors important for athletic performance. It has influenced the way that different foods are thought of and the diet consumed, particularly before and after exercise. The personal project was an overall valuable experience, with many skills gained throughout the process. Researching a specific topic of interest was very informative and important to do. There were countless valuable skills tested and learned that will be helpful in the future. Throughout this project, I overcame many challenges that were presented to me, which made it a success, and the process helped my development as an IB student and individual.


  1. “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook” by Nancy Clark
  2. “The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition” by Matt Fitzgerald
  3. “Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
  4. “Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” by Matt Fitzgerald
  5. “Nutrition for Sport, Exercise, and Health” by Marie Dunford and J. Andrew Doyle

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Should College Athletes Be Paid: Exploring Nutrition for Athletes. (2023, Aug 15). Retrieved from

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