Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Nutrition


Food Science and Nutrition


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Scott Reaves

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Despite the known importance of body composition in relation to performance and health of athletes, this study appears to be the first, or one of very few, to evaluate body composition measures from the beginning to end of season for NCAA DI collegiate baseball players and assess their dietary intake. Baseball players from the 2015-2019 seasons were included in the study (n=78; age=19.8±1.28). DXA scans performed at the start and end of season were analyzed and 3-day food records analyzed via ESHA software were utilized to assess dietary intake. Groups were stratified to examine differences in players’ positions (Pitchers vs. Position Players) and first-year status effects (Freshman/Transfer vs. Sophomore/Junior/Seniors). Based on the study’s findings, body mass and lean body mass significantly decreased from the beginning to end of season for the overall team (p= 0.002; 0.026). Position Players exhibited a significant decline in body mass, region percent fat, and fat mass (p=0.00, 0.014, and 0.021, respectively) while Pitchers did not demonstrate any significant changes. First-year players experienced an increase in visceral adipose tissue volume and visceral adipose tissue mass (p= 0.004, 0.004) and Sophomore/Junior/Seniors group experienced a significant decrease in body mass, region % fat, and fat mass from the beginning to end of season (p=0.00, 0.017, and 0.023, respectively). The team on average consumed 6% less than the recommended value for protein, 36% less than recommendation for carbohydrate and 10% above the recommended intake amount was determined for fat. Overall, the team consumed 18% less than their estimated total calorie recommended goal. We believe the study presents interesting findings that may be helpful for collegiate baseball programs, and potentially athletes in similar sports, to improve the performance, development and health of young student athletes.