JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & MEDICINE
http://www.jssm.org
 
Research article
 

PERFORMANCE LEVEL AFFECTS THE DIETARY SUPPLEMENT INTAKE OF BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM SPORTS ATHLETES

Ifigenia Giannopoulou, Kostantinos Noutsos, Nikolaos Apostolidis, Ioannis Bayios and George P. Nassis

Department of Sport Medicine and Biology of Exercise, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Received   01 December 2012
Accepted   15 February 2013
Published   01 March 2013

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 190 - 196

ABSTRACT  

Dietary supplement (DS) intake is high in elite level athletes, however few studies have investigated the impact that the performance level of the athletes has on supplementation intake in individual and team sports. The purpose of the study was to determine and compare the DS intake among individual and team sport athletes of various performance levels. A total of 2845 participants (athletes: 2783, controls: 62) between the ages of 11 and 44 years old participated in the study. A 3-page questionnaire was developed to assess the intake of DS. Athletes were categorized based on participation in individual (n = 775) and team sports (n = 2008). To assess the effect of performance level in supplementation intake, athletes were categorized based on training volume, participation in the national team, and winning at least one medal in provincial, national, international or Olympic games. Overall, 37% of all athletes of various performance levels reported taking at least one DS in the last month. A higher prevalence of DS intake was reported in individual (44%) compared to team sport athletes (35%) (p < 0.001). Athletes of high performance level reported greater DS intake compared to lower performance athletes. Males reported a significantly greater prevalence of DS intake compared to females. The most popular supplement reported was amino acid preparation with the main reason of supplementation being endurance improvements. In conclusion, performance level and type of sport appear to impact the DS practices of male and female athletes. These findings should be validated in other populations.

Key words: Nutritional aids, sports, team sports, performance.

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