Effect of Social Media on diet and performance of athletes

Social media has had a very deep impact on our lives

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Effect of Social Media on diet and performance of athletes
© Patrick Smith / Staff Getty Images

Social media has had a devastating impact on our lives, for better or worse. Almost everyone uses them, including athletes and stars. But what were the effects they had on the lives, particularly of athletes? And above all, how much did they influence diet, lifestyle and performances? The study: Effect of Social Media on Diet, Lifestyle, and Performance of Athletes: A Review of Current Evidence, published on the Current nutrition reports, attempted to answer this question.

NFL athletes© Ezra Shaw / Staff Getty Images

Effect of Social Media on diet and performance of athletes

The researches of the study expained in their abstract: "Social media plays an important role in providing diet and health advice to athletes, but it also carries with it a risk of credibility in the information sought for and received.

The objective of this review is to assess the knowledge gap on how SM influences dietary and lifestyle practices in athletes. For this, relevant literature was searched in three leading databases with appropriate keywords, which were subjected to proper scrutiny that led to inclusion of 22 articles.

The current era of digitalization has seen an over-reliance on internet and SM for nutrition and lifestyle advice for an athlete. SM has become a powerful tool in athlete's choice of food, nutrition information, healthy living, and performance, with merits and demerits.

Their role in choosing dietary supplements and particular food types (e.g., ketogenic diet), body image, self-esteem and eating disorders, and in lifestyle and performance are discussed. SM should be used with caution and should not be used alone as a source of information for nutrition related pieces of advice by athletes.

Any food type and supplements trending in SM should be discussed with a sports nutritionist before consumption. SM influencers having a big follower base may not always be disseminating the right knowledge on food and nutrition, thus caution should be exercised.

For optimal benefit to the athlete, SM information should be in alignment with recommendations provided by sports nutrition and coaches."