Validity of a food and fluid exercise questionnaire for macronutrient intake during exercise against observations

Floris C. Wardenaar, Daan Hoogervorst, Nancy Van Der Burg, Joline Versteegen, Wonsuk Yoo, Natasha Tasevska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Information about the accuracy of self-reported food and fluid intake during competitions is scarce. The objective of this study was to validate a previously developed food and fluid exercise questionnaire (FFEQ) against direct observations made during competitions in athletes. Fifty-eight recreational endurance athletes participating in four different running events and one cross duathlon in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017 were recruited. The FFEQ overestimated the median energy and carbohydrate intake by 27.6 kcal/h (20.6%) and 9.25 g/h (30.8%) (p < 0.001), respectively, compared to direct observation. Reporting bias (i.e., correlation between the difference between methods and average of both methods) increased with a higher energy (r: 0.41, p < 0.01) and carbohydrate intake (r: 0.44, p < 0.01). No statistically significant difference was found between FFEQ-reported fluid intake per hour and observations (median difference: -2.93 mL, -1.1%; p = 0.48) and no fluid reporting bias was identified (r: 0.23, p = 0.08). FFEQ-reported energy (r: 0.74), carbohydrate (r: 0.74), and fluid (r: 0.85) intake was strongly correlated with the observed intake (all p-values < 0.001). In conclusion, the FFEQ accurately estimates the fluid intake on a group level during competitions in recreational athletes. Even though FFEQ overestimates the energy and carbohydrate intake, it is still a useful tool for ranking individuals based on their intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2391
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Dietary assessment
  • Nutrition during competition
  • Self-reporting of intake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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