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What drives athletes toward dietary supplement use: Objective knowledge or self-perceived competence? Cross-sectional analysis of professional team-sport players from Southeastern Europe during the competitive season

  • Autori: Sekulic, D.; Tahiraj, E.; Maric, D.; Olujic, D.; Bianco, A.; Zaletel, P.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


BackgroundIssues related to knowledge of nutrition and dietary supplementation(DS) are understudied in professional athletes. This study aimed to examine the possible association between knowledge of nutrition and DS (KN&DS) and dietary supplement use (DSU) among professional athletes involved in team sports.MethodsThe sample comprised professional team-sport athletes (N=912, age: 22.113.37years, 356 females) involved in four Olympic sports: basketball (N=228), soccer (N=324), volleyball (N=154), and handball (N=206). The participants were tested by previously validated questionnaires to examine their self-perceived competence on nutrition and DS (S/KN&DS), their objectively evaluated (tested) KN&DS (O/KN&DS), sociodemographic and sport-specific variables (predictors), and DSU (criterion). Associations between the predictors and the criterion (No-DSU - Irregular-DSU - Regular-DSU) were determined by multinomial regression analysis for the total sample and separately for the studied sports.ResultsDSU was found to be less prevalent in older and more successful players. The O/KN&DS and S/KN&DS were positively correlated with DSU, but S/KN&DS was a stronger predictor of DSU than O/KN&DS. Sport-specific associations between predictors and criterion were identified, with stronger correlations in sports with a higher prevalence of DSU.Conclusions Due to the low correlations between O/KN&DS and S/KN&DS in the studied players, this study highlights the necessity for more frequent monitoring of biomarkers of nutritional status and its usage by coaches and practitioners to provide quantitative instruction.