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Basketball is a team sport, with many fans and practitioners worldwide from all ages and levels. In all cases, players accumulate high levels of fatigue, and there is also limited time to recover between games or practices. In particular, nutrition plays a key role in optimizing performance and recovery. However, it is typical to observe erroneous nutritional behaviors among basketball players. It has been theorized that these behaviors are influenced by habits acquired based on the indi-vidual's knowledge. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to conduct a descriptive research of the sports nutrition knowledge and practices in a sample of Spanish basketball players, from athletes under 18 years old (n = 69) to nonprofessional (n = 14) and professional adult players (n = 21). The sample was comprised of 49 men and 55 women. This was a transversal, cross-sectional, observational and descriptive study. All participants (n = 104) completed an anonymous online survey in order to analyze their sports nutrition knowledge and practices. In view of the obtained results, we can conclude that the knowledge of sport-specific nutrition in players under 18 years old, as well as non-professional and professional adult basketball players, is insufficient through all the categories and levels. The lack of professional support and time management difficulties were identified as some of the main barriers.
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Citation: Escribano-Ott, I.;
Mielgo-Ayuso, J.; Calleja-González, J.
A Glimpse of the Sports Nutrition
Awareness in Spanish Basketball
Players. Nutrients 2022,14, 27.
Academic Editor: Antoni Sureda
Received: 16 November 2021
Accepted: 21 December 2021
Published: 22 December 2021
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A Glimpse of the Sports Nutrition Awareness in Spanish
Basketball Players
Ignacio Escribano-Ott 1, *, Juan Mielgo-Ayuso 2and Julio Calleja-González 1
1Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education and Sport, University of the Basque
Country, 01007 Vitoria, Spain;
2Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Burgos, 09001 Burgos, Spain;
Basketball is a team sport, with many fans and practitioners worldwide from all ages and
levels. In all cases, players accumulate high levels of fatigue, and there is also limited time to recover
between games or practices. In particular, nutrition plays a key role in optimizing performance and
recovery. However, it is typical to observe erroneous nutritional behaviors among basketball players.
It has been theorized that these behaviors are influenced by habits acquired based on the individual’s
knowledge. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to conduct a descriptive research of the sports
nutrition knowledge and practices in a sample of Spanish basketball players, from athletes under
18 years
old (n= 69) to nonprofessional (n= 14) and professional adult players (n= 21). The sample
was comprised of 49 men and 55 women. This was a transversal, cross-sectional, observational
and descriptive study. All participants (n= 104) completed an anonymous online survey in order
to analyze their sports nutrition knowledge and practices. In view of the obtained results, we can
conclude that the knowledge of sport-specific nutrition in players under 18 years old, as well as
non-professional and professional adult basketball players, is insufficient through all the categories
and levels. The lack of professional support and time management difficulties were identified as
some of the main barriers.
recovery; sports performance; health; nutrition; basketball; sports nutrition; nutritional
knowledge; nutritional behavior; nutritional education
1. Introduction
Basketball is a team sport with many fans and practitioners worldwide [
], whose
media impact can be partially explained by the impressive expansion and globalization
phenomena experienced over the last 30 years [
]. It is a dynamic and constantly evolving
game that has undergone numerous modifications since James Naismith created it in
1891 [
]. The changes introduced during the last decade significantly impacted the game,
morphing it into a faster and more spectacular sport [
], and increasing the physical,
psychological and physiological demands on the players [
]. Furthermore, the number
of games played in professional basketball has increased considerably [
]. Given that,
players can accumulate up to 70 games in approximately 34 weeks (FIBA), which implies
up to 3 games per week with less than 72 h of recovery among them [9,10].
As a result of these changes, sports performance scientists have highlighted the need
for a deeper understanding of the game [
] and the main demands experienced by the
players [
]. Although most existing knowledge refers to men’s basketball [
], there
is also an emerging trend to explore the singularity of female players (hormonal, biolog-
ical and anatomical factors) due to the increased presence of women’s basketball in all
categories and play level [
]. In this sense, more studies are needed, especially in the
area of training [
]. Regarding youth players, the youngest athletes also face numerous
challenges [
]. From the standpoint of nutrition science, younger athletes, especially
Nutrients 2022,14, 27.
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 2 of 15
those participating in high-performance training programs, must cope with physiolog-
ical maturation needs and their athletic development [
]. For this reason, the special
demands of the adolescent population have also attracted the interest of the scientific
community [19,20].
In all cases, high levels of fatigue and the limited time to recover between
games [11,12]
have pushed teams to incorporate strategies to accelerate and optimize the recovery pro-
cesses in their plans [21]. In fact, this challenge involves strategies representing a decisive
competitive advantage [9].
Among all these recovery factors, nutrition plays a key role [
], covering the
demands of the game, maintaining physical and psychological performance, and opti-
mizing the athlete’s potential [
]. In particular, there is widespread knowledge that
carbohydrates and proteins must be provided with specific timing, quantity and rhythm of
administration [
] to enhance recovery [
]. Although it is difficult to establish a general
nutritional guide that could suit all players, in a previous review [
], we suggested a
theoretical-practical one, covering the key points that should be considered to optimize the
player’s recovery through appropriate diet [
]. Despite the availability and accessibility
of this theoretical knowledge to the majority of teams and their coaches, it is common to
observe (in basketball and other team sports) that players still display erroneous behaviors,
attitudes and beliefs [
]. Ultimately, this leads them to make undesirable food choices
that can directly interfere with their performance and health [
]. It has been theorized that
this behavior is influenced by the habits acquired based on personal knowledge [
]. In
addition, age seems to be a direct factor influencing this choice behavior [
]. Although
the scientific literature has previously investigated athletes and coaches’ nutritional knowl-
edge [
], to the best of the authors’ knowledge, we did not find any previous studies
conducted specifically for basketball, neither longitudinally nor transversally. We also
did not find any previous studies conducted among different ages and categories, from
young to professional players. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to conduct a
descriptive study of the sports nutrition knowledge, practices and perceived barriers, in
Spanish basketball players, from players under 18 years old (U-18) to non-professional
(Non-pro) and professional (Pro) adult players.
2. Materials and Methods
This research was conducted from January to April 2021. All participants (Table 1)
completed an anonymous online questionnaire sent by their coaches, managers or other
players, guaranteeing their confidentiality.
Table 1. Description of the sample.
Category Sub-Category Men Women
U-18 Cadet-Stage 17 25
Junior-Stage 15 12
Non-Pro EBA League 6 -
1st National Feminine - 8
LEB-2 Silver League 5 -
ACB First League 6 -
Feminine League 2 - 2
Feminine League 1 - 8
TOTAL 49 55
Legend: U-18: player under 18 years old, Non-Pro: non-professional adult player, Pro: professional adult
player, EBA: Liga Española de Baloncesto Aficionado (Spanish Amateur Basketball League), LEB: Liga Española
de Baloncesto (Spanish Basketball League), ACB: Asociación Clubes profesionales de Baloncesto (Professional
Basketball Clubs Asociation).
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 3 of 15
2.1. Participants
The study sample consisted of 49 men and 55 women of U-18 categories who were
15–16 years
of age (cadet-stage subgroup, n= 32) and 17–18 years of age (junior-stage
subgroup, n= 37) and adult (17; 18). The sample was comprised of 49 men and
55 women
within the adult category, of which 21 played in the highest Spanish competitions (Pro cate-
gory), 10 in women’s leagues (LF1, LF2) and 11 in men’s leagues (ACB First League, LEB-2
Silver League). The remaining senior participants (Non-Pro category) belonged to teams
playing in other federative divisions in Spain, with 8 women in the 1st national feminine di-
vision (3rd Division) and 6 men in the Liga EBA (4th Division). The inclusion criteria were:
(1) players
aged between 15 and 18 years with a Spanish federation license, or if they were
older than 18 years old, to compete in Pro or Non-Pro category (FEB);
(2) participation
at least 75% of the annual practice sessions; (3) regular participation in these competitions;
(4) no recent injury (1 month before the beginning of the study);
(5) absence
of drugs at the
time of the study. The following exclusion criteria were established: (1) lack of fluency in
the language in which the questionnaire was delivered (Spanish).
2.2. Ethical Issues
The ethical approval was obtained from those responsible of the clubs and federations
which participated in the study. They were informed of the purpose of the study and its
potential benefits, its methodological nature and the used methodology. This study was
approved by the Ethics Committee for Human Research (CEISH) of the University of the
Basque Country (UPV/EHU) with code M10_2020_259 and conducted under the ethical
principles of the Helsinki Declaration (actualization Fortaleza, 2013) [34].
2.3. Study Design
This is a descriptive, cross-sectional and observational study. An ad-hoc questionnaire
was designed to collect the following information: category of play, sex, sports nutrition
knowledge and sports nutrition practices. It consisted of a combination of question using
checkboxes and open-ended responses. Before starting the study, the authors designed a
preliminary draft. In addition, a pilot test was performed by two professional basketball
team (one men’s basketball team and one women’s basketball team) who volunteered
participate, which was not included in the study.
2.4. Data Collection Method
The survey sections consisted of these specific questions:
Sports nutrition questionnaire: The questionnaire was previously validated and is
considered a simple yet applicable tool to administer [
]. It contains 23 questions
grouped into 6 different sections: (I) nutrients: questions (7 items) about the degree of
agreement on experts’ recommendations and the profile of certain foods according
to their predominant content of a nutrient; (II) hydration: questions (5 items) on
rehydration strategies and the profile of a sports drink; (III) recovery: questions
(5 items) on which foods may represent a suitable choice in terms of quantity and
presence of certain nutrients, as well as the timing of intake; body mass management:
questions on (IV) strategies for healthy weight gain (2 items) and (V) weight loss
2 items
); (VI) supplementation: questions (2 items) about the degree of agreement on
experts’ recommendations on supplementation. Each categorical and total knowledge
characteristic was assessed by transforming the results obtained into a scale equivalent
to the school grading system in Spain (
/eci1845. Last accessed: 21 November 2021), where 0 was the minimum value and 10
the maximum value (Table 1).
Sports nutrition practices: A questionnaire was configured to assess the sports nu-
trition practices by adapting the existing questionnaires of Heikura et al. [
] and
Altarriba-Bartes et al. [
]. It contained a total of 36 items. Depending on the answer
(yes or no), the questionnaire continued to the following question or jumped to the
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 4 of 15
next section, so the total number of questions to be answered could be reduced. Items
were grouped into the following thematic blocks: training adjustment according to
competition objectives (7 items), pre- and post-training nutritional strategies (14 items),
and pre- and post-match nutritional strategies (15 items). Each of these blocks con-
tained questions about the main reasons for adhering or not to the strategies and the
influence of other people on their behaviors to follow the recommendations [
]. The
results are presented as arbitrary units (AU) following the grade marks system of
the Spanish Education Ministry (
Last accessed: 21 November 2021).
2.5. Statistical Analysis
The data were exported from the online survey (Google Forms
) to a spreadsheet
Excel for Windows 10). The results are presented as means, standard deviation
(SD) and frequencies. Normal distribution was tested using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test
(n= 104). In addition, the Levene test was used to analyze the previous homoscedasticity of
the data. The comparison of means among independent samples was performed with the
ANOVA test, and Bonferroni post-hoc analyses were conducted to identify the differences
among groups. Categorical variables were analyzed using the Chi-square test, and these
analyses were stratified by level of competition. The effect size, from Cohen’s D, was
considered small when d = 0.20, medium when d = 0.50, and large when d = 0.80 [
Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association among category-
knowledge-behaviors. The magnitude of the correlation coefficients was determined as
trivial (r < 0.1), small (0.1 < r < 0.3), moderate (0.3 < r < 0.5), high (0.5 < r < 0.7), very
high (0.7 < r < 0.9), nearly perfect (r > 0.9) or perfect (r = 1) [
]. In all statistical tests, the
statistical significance level p< 0.05 was used for bilateral contracts. Data analysis was
performed with the statistical package SPSS
for Windows version 26.0, SPSS INC, Chicago,
IL, USA) and in the R (1.4 version) programming environment.
3. Results
3.1. Nutritional Knowledge
A total of 104 participants completed a sports nutrition knowledge questionnaire
(Table 2). The following thematic blocks (Figure 1) were analyzed: hydration (U-18:
4.72 AU
vs. Non-pro: 5.79 AU vs. Pro: 5.18 AU: ns), recovery (U-18: 4.19 AU vs. Non-Pro: 5.52 AU
vs. Pro: 4.5 AU: ns), body mass management (U-18: 4.77AU vs. Non-Pro: 5.14 AU vs. Pro:
4.79 AU: ns) and supplementation (U-18: 2.57 AU vs. Non-Pro: 2.53 AU vs. Pro: 3.38 AU:
ns) (Figure 2). With respect to the nutrient (U-18: 5.15 AU vs. Non-Pro: 5.95 AU vs. Pro:
5.12 AU: ns), significant differences in logistic regression were found between categories
(Non-Pro vs. Pro vs. U-18: p= 0.03) with a high effect size (d = 0.82).
3.2. Nutritional Practices and Strategies
To analyze the nutritional practices and behaviors (Table 3), all the participants com-
pleted the same adapted questionnaire used in previous work. The results (Figure 3) show
that 83% of participants did not adjust their nutrition for the work required (U-18: 81.16%
vs. Non-Pro: 78.57% vs. Pro: 76.19%: ns). However, 71.15% of participants (U-18: 66.66%
vs. Non-Pro: 21.42% vs. Pro: 19.04: ns) reported paying attention to their pre-training
nutrition, and 62.5% (U-18: 57.97% vs. Non-Pro: 71.42% vs. Pro: 71.42%: ns) to post-training
nutritional recovery. These frequencies decreased when they were asked about their match-
day practices, where 18.18% of participants reported paying attention to pre-competition
nutrition (U-18: 10.45% vs. Non-Pro: 28.57% vs. Pro: 38.89%: ns) in contrast to 54.81%
(U-18: 46.38% vs. Non-Pro: 35.71% vs. Pro: 47.62%: ns) of those who did so at the end of
the match.
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 5 of 15
Table 2. Sports nutrition knowledge by category, gender and thematic blocks.
Category nNutrients 1Hydration 1Recovery 1Mass
Management 1Supplementation 1Total 1
Men 32 5.3
Women 37 5.01
Total 69 5.15
4.19 *
Men 6 5.6
Women 8 6.22
Total 14 5.95
5.52 *
Men 11 4.81
Women 10 5.48
Total 21 5.12
Men 49 5.23
Women 55 5.27
Total 104 5.25
p-value - - 0.221 0.151 0.0386 0.567 0.361 0.151
d Cohen - - - - 0.82 - - -
Legend: SD: values are presented as mean (SD). Standard deviation; d, Cohen’s d (The effect size, from Cohen’s D,
was considered small when d = 0.20, medium when d = 0.50, and large when d = 0.80); normal distribution
* statistically significant differences among groups (p< 0.05).
Nutrients 2022, 14, 27 5 of 16
Figure 1. Sports nutrition knowledge (thematic blocks). Legend: * statistical significance differ-
Figure 2. Sports nutrition knowledge (total).
Figure 1. Sports nutrition knowledge (thematic blocks). Legend: * statistical significance difference.
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 6 of 15
Nutrients 2022, 14, 27 5 of 16
Figure 1. Sports nutrition knowledge (thematic blocks). Legend: * statistical significance differ-
Figure 2. Sports nutrition knowledge (total).
Figure 2. Sports nutrition knowledge (total).
Table 3. Sports nutrition practices by category, gender and thematic blocks.
Training 1
Adjustment *
Pre 1
Post 1
Pre 1
Post 1
Game *
fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%) fi (%)
U-18 13 (18.84) 56 (81.16) 46 (66.66) 23 (33.33) 40 (57.97) 29 (42.02) 7 (10.45) 60 (89.55) 37 (53.62) 32 (46.38)
Men 9 (28.13) 23 (71.88) 25 (78.12) 7 (21.85) 23 (71.87) 9 (28.12) 4 (13.33) 26 (86.67) 19 (59.38) 13 (40.63)
Women 4 (10.81) 33 (89.19) 21 (56.75) 16 (43.24) 17 (45.94) 20 (54.05) 3 (8.11) 34 (91.89) 18 (48.65) 19 (51.35)
Non-Pro 3 (21.43) 11 (78.57) 11 (78.57) 3 (21.42) 10 (71.42) 4 (28.57) 4 (28.57) 10 (71.43) 9 (64.29) 5 (35.71)
Men 1 (16.67) 5 (83.33) 5 (83.33) 1 (16.66) 5 (83.33) 1 (16.67) 1 (16.67) 5 (83.33) 3 (50) 3 (50)
Women 2 (25) 6 (75) 6 (75) 2 (25) 5 (62.5) 3 (37.5) 3 (37.5) 5 (62.5) 6 (75) 2 (25)
Pro 5 (23.81) 16 (76.19) 17 (80.92) 4 (19.04) 15 (71.42) 6 (28.57) 7 (38.89) 11 (61.11) 11 (52.38) 10 (47.62)
Men 3 (27.27) 8 (72.73) 9 (81.81) 2 (18.18) 8 (72.72) 3 (27.27) 4 (50) 4 (50) 8 (72.73) 3 (27.27)
Women 2 (20) 8 (80) 8 (80) 2 (20) 7 (70) 3 (30) 3 (30) 7 (70) 3 (30) 7 (70)
TOTAL 21 (20.19) 83 (79.81) 74 (71.15) 30 (28.84) 65 (62.5) 39 (37.5) 18 (18.18) 81 (81.82) 57 (54.81) 47 (45.19)
Men 13 (26.53) 36 (73.47) 39 (79.59) 10 (20.40) 36 (73.46) 13 (26.53) 9 (20.45) 35 (79.55) 30 (61.22) 19 (38.78)
Women 8 (14.55) 47 (85.45) 35 (63.63) 20 (36.36) 29 (52.72) 26 (47.27) 9 (16.36) 46 (83.64) 27 (49.09) 28 (50.91)
square 0.877 0.362 0.408 0.362 0.817
Legend: frequency (fi); normal distribution 1; * statistically significant differences (p< 0.05).
3.3. Perceived Barriers
Although the correlation magnitude was small (r = 0.241), we found a positive asso-
ciation between knowledge levels and adherence to the practices recommended by the
experts (p= 0.035; r = 0.207; small), and a better fit to these as the categories became more
professional (p= 0.14; r = 0.241; small).
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 7 of 15
Nutrients 2022, 14, 27 7 of 16
Figure 3. Sports nutrition practices. This figure compares the percentage of players following or not following the nutritional practices.
Figure 3. Sports nutrition practices. This figure compares the percentage of players following or not following the nutritional practices.
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 8 of 15
4. Discussion
This descriptive research aimed to describe the nutritional knowledge, behaviors,
practices and perceived barriers of basketball players of different categories and levels. In
view of the results obtained in this study, we can conclude that sports nutrition knowledge
is insufficient among basketball players of all levels and ages, resulting in inadequate eating
practices. In addition, there are barriers, such as lack of professional support and time
management difficulties, that make it difficult for players to optimize their nutrition.
4.1. Nutritional Knowledge and Practical Management of Nutrients
Sports nutrition is a rapidly growing and evolving science [
]. There is a strong
agreement that nutrients play a key role in the acute, adaptive and chronic response
to exercise, and the availability and functioning of energy systems [
]. Moreover,
the type of nutrient, knowledge and management of the timing and amount of intake
is critical [
]. Likewise, sports nutrition must respond to the specific mechanisms that
generate fatigue [
] and the fatigue profiles generated by each playing position, particularly
in team sports [
]. In this sense, our study found no significant differences in the theoretical
knowledge of nutrients among categories, obtaining an average score for the 3 groups
of 5.25 out of 10 maximum total points. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this
is the first study that specifically addresses this variable in basketball while including
professional players. These scores follow the direction of work conducted in other sports
disciplines, where other athletes also scored similarly [
]. In addition to describing
knowledge, our description also addressed the practical handling of knowledge by the
athletes. Adjusting the availability and supply of nutrients, especially carbohydrates, to the
daily demands is an aspect that has generated great interest inside the specialized scientific
community [
], highlighting the need not to adopt nutritional practices exclusively
oriented toward competition [
]. Our study found significant differences between those
who did adjust their diet according to training, with the group of athletes who did not do
so being larger (YES: 20.19% vs. NO: 79.81%). This fact highlights that, despite the brief
time since theoretical knowledge on nutritional periodization has emerged [
], only in
very specific cases, such as those recorded by Heikura in 2018 [
], is it being transferred
to practice. In this sense, future research lines could explore which characteristics are
fundamental to adjust nutritional periodization [
] to each sporting context or the main
barriers that limit the transfer of this theoretical knowledge to field practice, particularly in
basketball and team sports.
4.2. Nutritional Knowledge and Practical Management of Supplementation Strategies
Sports supplements are becoming increasingly popular among athletes, with a broad
and accessible range of products available [
]. The research conducted by our research
group found that some sports supplements could be of interest for health [
], while others,
due to their proven ergogenic effect, could be beneficial for sports performance [
The availability of complex supplementation makes it necessary for the basketball players
to tailor their supplementation menus individually [
], selecting those that are genuinely
beneficial for their practice [
], and considering their own individual parameters based
on their feels and preferences [
]. Particularly important are those related to the sex
variable, since most of the published studies have been performed among men [
], and
exhaustive research is needed on the female population that considers their physiological
peculiarities, mainly hormonal [
]. To accurately apply these strategies, it is necessary for
players to have sufficient knowledge that will allow them to optimize their performance
and protect their health and enlarge their sporting careers [
]. In that way, our research
has shown that basketball players’ knowledge about sports supplementation does not
reach the “pass” category, registering a value of 2.73 out of a maximum value of 10. These
records were repeated in the three analyzed categories (U-18: 2.57 vs. Non-Pro: 2.53 vs.
Pro: 2.74). In particular, in the case of the U-18 category, these scores could be justified
because, initially, this group should not require their use, as a varied, balanced diet that
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 9 of 15
adheres to a Mediterranean style could theoretically be sufficient [
]. However, Chiba
et al. [
] found that as young people progress in their development, their consumption
of nutritional supplements also increases. Most of the time, supplements are incorrectly
used, so early educational interventions [
] could be a measure of interest. Regarding
the senior population (Non-Pro and Pro), our results are in line with other similar studies
that have found that athletes present have a low level of knowledge [
] or that they are
unaware of the need for an independent laboratory to guarantee the purity and safety of a
product [
]. This lack of know-how demonstrates how exposed athletes are to brands’
promises of product improvements [
], and how they cannot protect themselves from
these attractive messages by asking basic questions about the safety, efficacy or risks of
using them [63].
4.3. Nutritional Knowledge and Practical Management of Hydration Strategies
One factor that directly affects the onset of fatigue is dehydration [
], so it is
essential to achieve a homeostatic balance between fluid losses and exogenous fluid
replacement [64,65]
. Hydration plays a vital role in reducing explosive performance during
basketball competition [
] and should be a key focus on recovery strategies. On the other
hand, very high or sustained losses over time, in addition to negatively affecting athletic
performance, can put health at serious risk. Therefore, a widely accepted rehydration
strategy is to ingest an amount of fluid equivalent to twice the weight lost [
]. How-
ever, adult players showed better knowledge about hydration management (U18: 4.72 AU
vs. Non-Pro: 5.79 AU vs. Pro: 5.18 AU). Despite that finding, we did not find significant
differences when comparing their practices to U-18’s. This lack of theoretical knowledge
could also be reflected in subsequent hydration behavior, as has been described in other
studies [
]. It is difficult to establish a relationship that could explain these differences.
It may be theorized that older players could have received a greater number of messages
about the importance of following adequate hydration. In the last two decades, hydra-
tion has been a subject widely addressed by the scientific community [
]. Consequently,
transferring and communicating these recommendations into practice is relatively easy for
coaches [69].
4.4. Nutritional Knowledge and Practical Handling for Body Mass Management
Basketball players’ bodies are large and strong regardless of their play position [
so their diet must provide enough nutrients and energy to maintain adequate levels of
fat and muscle [
]. Our study found no significant differences by category, recording a
mean value of 4.83 AU (U-18: 4.77 AU vs. Non-Pro: 5.14 vs. Pro: 4.79) with 10 being the
maximum possible. This lack of knowledge about the management of body composition
could be related to an inadequate diet that does not comply, either by excess or deficiency,
with the experts’ recommendations [
]. In the case of female basketball players, there
is a profound need to understand precisely which nutritional strategies are the most
appropriate to achieve optimal body composition. Their specific hormonal profile, as well
as the fluctuations that occurs during the menstrual cycle [
], mean that physiological
complications derived from a prolonged state of energy efficiency can place their health at
risk [78].
4.5. Nutritional Knowledge and Practical Handling of Recovery Strategies
The organic and psychological recovery of the athlete is a task that requires high
precision and individualization [
], and depends directly on the complex, interconnected
and specific dimensions of each sport [
]. Among these tasks, nutrition plays a
determining role in accelerating and optimizing recovery [
]. It is one of the main
methods used by teams [
], although this knowledge needs to be further expanded to
design specific strategies for the female population [
]. Our study found significant
differences in knowledge related to nutritional recovery strategies between younger and
adult players (p= 0.03). This may be due to a better perception by the players themselves
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 10 of 15
or their teams of the need to recover more quickly and efficiently [
], and thus cope with
the demands of training and matches. Alternatively, this knowledge may be attributed
to structures where nutritional recovery practices are imposed by the sporting structure
itself [
]. In contrast, Bird and Rushton [
] observed in a recent study that the mean value
of this knowledge did not reach the cut-off of 5 out of 10 players (U-18: 4.19 AU vs. Non-Pro:
5.52 vs. Pro: 4.5 AU). Therefore, in addition to facilitating and promoting practical access
to nutritional recovery methods [
], these could be accompanied by training strategies that
would give them greater autonomy, positively impacting their performance and lives [
In addition to describing their knowledge, we also analyzed their nutritional practices
in training and matches in our study. These practices have a direct impact on recovery,
completing it and reaching a state of optimal preparation before exercise or starting the
recovery process itself [
]. Although their knowledge reflected a lack of mastery of
sport-specific recommendations, in their behavior, they reported paying attention to their
nutrition before (YES: 71.15% vs. NO: 28.84%) and after (YES: 62.5% vs. NO: 37.5%) training.
With this finding, it could be theorized that over and above the recommendations based
on scientific evidence, athletes’ behavior is more influenced by their perception of how
easy it is to carry out these strategies [
], or the sense of individual well-being that they
generate [55].
4.6. Perceived Barriers to Nutritional Knowledge and Practices
Lack of professional support, difficulties in time management, and lack of knowledge
are some of the main barriers perceived by athletes and coaches, which, in addition to
compromising their performance, expose them to numerous agents that put their protection
at risk [
]. These difficulties coincide with those found in our research, where the lack
of knowledge offered by a professional was recorded as a common variable in all age
categories for pre-match (U-18: 35% vs. Non-Pro: 40% vs. Pro: 36.36%) and post-match
(U-18: 64.52% vs. Non-Pro: 40% vs. Pro: 44.44%) practices. On the other hand, time
management depending on the residence situation was observed as a predominant barrier
in the professional (Pro) category (PRE: 25% vs. POST: 33.33%). These results are in line
with those obtained by Sekulic et al. (2019), where athletes also reported insufficient
knowledge of recommended practices. Our results point in the same direction, as we found
a positive association between the levels of knowledge and adherence to the practices
recommended by the experts (p= 0.035), and a better adjustment to these as they scale the
categories (p= 0.14). Thus, it seems essential that clubs and federations make the assistance
of a professional nutritionist available to players. A professional nutritionist could help
players and coordinate their personal circumstances [
] with those based on the nutritional
demands of basketball [90].
5. Conclusions
In view of the obtained results, we can conclude that the sports nutrition knowledge
and practices in this sample of Spanish Basketball Players, from U-18 to non-professional
(Non-Pro) and professional (Pro) adult players, is insufficient and inadequate, which may
compromise their performance and health. In addition, the lack of professional support,
time management difficulties and lack of knowledge were identified as some of the main
barriers that may prevent basketball players from developing healthy behaviors in line
with expert’s recommendations.
6. Limitations, Strengths and Future Lines of Research
This study presents some limitations. First, the sample size is relatively limited in
comparison with the absolute number of basketball licenses in the Spanish Basketball
leagues. Nonetheless, this work represents a framework that can be expand in future
research lines in a larger sample. Future research may also include the role of coaches,
families and other social agents that could influence players’ nutritional knowledge and
Nutrients 2022,14, 27 11 of 15
behaviors. In addition, future research may analyze specific age-groups or categories as
Altarriba did [27], or could group players by gender.
The second limitation is that the questionnaires were completed by the players them-
selves. Future studies may include the questionnaire as a part of a nutritional intervention
designed to improve this knowledge and players’ behaviors.
Finally, this study was conducted during a global pandemic.
7. Practical Application
Based on the findings, our research team has proposed some ideas that could help to
build bridges between the theoretical knowledge and players’ practices.
7.1. Nutritional Education Strategies to Increase Knowledge
The dietary education of athletes is a key aspect that can promote appropriate eating
behavior, with adolescence being an ideal time for its development. Although many pos-
sible interventions can be carried out, most of which are sufficient to achieve a positive
impact, short interventions at specific times of the season (training camps, technical im-
provement, pre- and post-season) using new technologies (such as mobile applications)
could be a strategy that could quickly increase the knowledge of nutrition. It could also
be beneficial for coaches and technical staff to participate in this training due to the high
impact that their behaviors and nutritional knowledge have on athletes.
7.2. Quick Applied Ideas to Boost Nutritional Practices
Facilitating practical solutions through popular forms of communication and making
them visible in training areas or providing them directly to players could be an effective
strategy to provide visual examples that can be quickly assimilated and implemented.
These designs could show: (1) foods, preparations or menus that integrate the amount and
type of nutrients needed for basketball practice, as well as when to take them; (2) hydration
strategies through foods with a high hydration index, as well as ways to evaluate and
measure their degree of dehydration and rehydration rate; (3) diagrams that help players
decide and choose whether to follow a supplementation pattern as well as facilitating the
ways to consult about the safety of a product; (4) specific infographics.
Author Contributions:
I.E.-O. conceived and designed the research, analyzed and interpreted the
data, and wrote the article. J.C.-G. and J.M.-A. supervised the process and critically reviewed the
article and approved the final version submitted for publication. All authors have read and agreed to
the published version of the manuscript.
Funding: The authors declare that they have no sources of funding.
Institutional Review Board Statement:
The Ethics Committee for Research Involving Human Sub-
jects (CEISH) of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) approved this study in accordance
with the Declaration of Helsinki, with code M10_2020_259.
Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable.
Data Availability Statement: The data presented in this study are available within the article.
The authors would like to thank the managers, coaches and players who partici-
pated in the study and collaborated in its dissemination. We would also like to thank the Vice-rectorate
of Research of the University of the Basque Country for authorizing the implementation of this project
(M10_2020_259), and the lecturers of the Master’s Degree in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences of
the same university, who have contributed with their advice and considerations.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... Sports nutrition knowledge (SNK) is an important subject of physical and health education. Nutrition plays a significant role in the health and physical performance of the individual, and it is the primary factor that determines the optimal level of sports performance for athletes, it influences their dietary intakes [21][22]. ...
... A solid SNK level qualifies physical education students to adequately train athletes. Despite the importance of this topic, numerous studies have demonstrated that physical education students and athletes in various countries, including Jordan, lack general nutrition knowledge [20,[22][23][24][25]. Also in 2021, the Jordanian ministry of higher education established instructions for the incorporation of e-learning in institutions of higher education. ...
... Therefore, numerous researchers conducted studies to examine the nutrition knowldge of PE students and athletes. In Spain, Escribano-Ott et al., [22] performed descriptive research among basketball players and discovered that they lacked sufficient SNK; similarly, in Jordan, Elsahoryi and his colleagues [23] found that Jordanian athletes lacked nutrition knowledge. As well, In Palestine, Badrasawi, et al. [20] did a study among 249 students in physical education and discovered that they lacked an adequate nutrition understanding. ...
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Abstract— In the physical education literature, E-learning in terms of online or blended learning has been lacking and facing several challenges which highlighted a need to conduct more research to investigate modern instruction in the context of physical education. This study is one of the few to determine the impact of Mobile Application-Assisted Instruction (MAAI) on intrinsic motivation and sports nutrition knowledge in a blended learning setting. The “KI-coach” app has been used as a state of an art mobile application based on artificial intelligence. This study adopted quasi experimental approach. Students were randomly assigned into a control group (n=25) that received the convolutional instruction method and an experimental group (n=25) that received MAAI. Study groups adopted a blended learning approach. Measures of intrinsic motivation and sports nutrition knowledge were administered to both groups before and after teaching the nutrition and physical performance course. The ANCOVA analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the two groups on intrinsic motivation and sports nutrition knowledge. These findings indicated that using MAAI in blended learning promoted the development of intrinsic motivation and enhanced sports nutrition knowledge among physical education students. These findings encourage the decision-makers at the Ministry of higher education and physical education instructors to improve blended learning instruction and practice.
... There is a widespread variety of CHO-rich foods (rice, pasta, bread, fruits and vegetables, etc.), but the amount, type, timing and frequency of ingestion are critical concerns for sports nutrition [78][79][80][81] to prepare and recover athletes for the work required [18]. Basketball is a very demanding game with a short time to recover between games [4]; thus, having strong knowledge [26] about CHO fueling strategies may lead to a clear competitive advantage [5]. This review reaffirms CHO's role in the recovery process [78], so when diet cannot cover these requirements, it may be recommendable support it with some ergogenic aids such as bars, gels, drinks, or similar until this recommendation is fulfilled. ...
... However, one important strength is that (to the best of our knowledge) this is the first systematic review describing which ergo-nutritional aids can be specifically useful in basketball to enhance on-court performance and recovery, boosting future studies and helping players and team staff to plan their ergo-nutritional aids wisely. This is critically important given that basketball players do not have enough nutritional knowledge to manage it on their own [26]. Thus, it should be noted that our systematic review should be taken as a first step to normalize study designs and categorize the main outcomes to get a big picture of the main effects of a nutritional supplementation intervention. ...
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Using nutritional supplements is a widespread strategy among basketball players to ensure the appropriate provision of energy and nutrients to avoid certain complaints. Particularly in bas-ketball, there is no consensus on the type, quantity or form of use in which these supplements should be administered. Therefore, the main aim of this systematic review is to highlight the ergo-nutritional aids that may be effective in basketball. A structured search was carried out following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA®) guidelines in the Medline/PubMed and Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases until 31 December 2021; no year restriction was applied to the search strategy. There were no filters applied to the basketball players’ level, gender, race, or age to increase the power of the analysis. The results of this systematic review have shown that the effective dose of caffeine to enhance anaerobic performance and the feeling of vigorousness and energy ranges from 3 to 6 mg·kg−1, showing more positive effects when is supplemented 60–75 min before exercise in the morning and in test-based task. On the other hand, vitamin E (ranging from 200 to 268 mg), vitamin D (10,000 IU) and EPA (2g) may have a potential role in recovery and wellness. The primary limitation of this study is the scarcity of studies related to nutritional supplementation in basketball players. However, a major strength is that this is the first systematic review describing what er-go-nutritional aids may be specifically helpful for basketball. Despite the need for future studies, certain nutritional supplements may have promising advantages for basketball (long-term sup-plementation of nitrates for recovery), whereas others (β-alanine, sodium bicarbonate, and acute nitrate supplementation) might theoretically be regarded as not interesting for basketball, or even not recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as bovine colostrum.
... Further, this Special Issue proposes a transversal, cross-sectional, observational, and descriptive study in basketball with 104 participants who described that the knowledge of sport-specific nutrition in players under 18 years old, as well as non-professional and professional adult basketball players, is insufficient through all the categories and levels [4]. Finally, the other cluster study suggests that pro-healthy dietary patterns and lower mileage may favor higher bone mineral density in male amateur marathoners [5]. ...
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The importance of nutrition in maintaining health and improving sports performance is well known [...]
... Currently, based on scientific evidence (Maughan et al., 2018) 108) , only caffeine, creatine, citrate, beta alanine and nitrates have been scientifically proven to have some kind of proven results (Escribano-Ott et al., 2021 & 2022) 109,110) . ...
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Basketball is a popular team sport worldwide. Nutrition is one of the key aspects for the optimization of performance and subsequent recovery. Female athletes have unique nutritional requirements as a result of daily training and competition, in addition to the specific demands of gender-related physiological changes. However, inadequate, or erroneous nutritional behaviours are commonly observed. Thus, the aim of our work is to provide concise nutritional recommendations for female basketball players. Based on a review of the literature, there is limited evidence that comprehensively assesses health attributes as well as behaviours, habits, and nutritional knowledge of physical activity by gender in basketball players. Recent research highlights the need for nutritional strategies to develop tools to help manage energy deficiency in women’s sports. We suggest that individual adjustment of dietary energy value is the key factor in the physical performance of female basketball players; information that could be used to optimize the training process and health maintenance. The recommended intake for athletes involved in moderate levels of training, such as elite basketball players (2-3 h/day for 5-6 times/week), is 50-80 kcal·(kg·day)⁻¹, with specific recommendations of 1.6-1.8 g·(kg·day)⁻¹ protein. For physically active women, it is recommended that 1.2-2 g·(kg·day)⁻¹ of protein be consumed, with fat intake of 20-35% of total kilocalories and 5-8 g·(kg·day)⁻¹ of carbohydrate to adequately meet performance demands.
... Athletes are in need of adequate macro & micronutrients, and fluids including meal timing [15]. For instances, meeting energy demand and maintenance of body mass and body fat at appropriate levels are key goals of nutrition [18], and are linked to poor knowledge on nutrition information which could ultimately lead to unhealthy eating practices [6,19,20]. ...
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Introduction Good nutrition knowledge and nutrient intake have been regarded as significant determinants in enhancing athletes’ performance and overall health status. This study aimed to assess knowledge, attitude, and practices of nutrition and dietary intake among athletes. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to April 2022 among national athletes from two sports clubs in Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Nepal. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. Anthropometric measurements and dietary intake were recorded. Bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regression was used to estimate the crude odds ratios (cOR), and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results A total of 270 players were included in this study (mean age, 25 years; 49.6% male, 50.4% female). Almost half of the athletes had good nutrition knowledge [54.1% (146/270)], attitude [56.7% (153/270)], and practices [50% (135/270)] scores. The mean energy, carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake were 35.0 kcal/kg/day, 5.6, 0.9, and 0.9 g/kg/day, respectively. Likewise, mean calcium and iron intake were 370, and 12.5 mg, respectively. In the multivariate model, families with monthly household income less than 50,000 Nepalese rupees ($400) (adjusted Odds Ratio/aOR = 2.58; 95% CI: 1.12 to 5.96), and those who did not receive diet plan (aOR = 3.14; 95% CI: 1.25 to 7.84) were more likely to have poor nutrition knowledge. Players who did not check food labelling (aOR = 1.44; 95% CI: 0.78 to 2.63) were more likely to have negative attitude towards nutrition. Players who did not ever attend nutrition class (aOR = 3.54; 95% CI: 1.46 to 8.54) and those who did not consume different food during off and on the season of sports (aOR = 2.36; 95% CI: 1.39 to 4.01) were more likely to have poor nutrition practice. Conclusions Half of the athletes’ nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and practices score were satisfactory. Nutrient intake among athletes was suboptimal. Nutrition intervention programs are critical to improve nutritional knowledge, attitude and practice related to dietary intake among national athletes in Nepal.
... Moreover, public participation is advantageous for addressing obesity and ensuring a sustainable way of life [34]. However, despite the importance of nutrition knowledge, several studies have reported a lack of eating behavior among coaches, athletes, K-12 students, and undergraduates [35][36][37][38][39]; for example, [40] conducted a study in Kuwait that found Basic Education college undergraduates had a low level of nutrition knowledge. In addition, studies have demonstrated a correlation between Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status, such as the study by [41], which found that undergraduates with superior nutrition knowledge consumed less unhealthy fats; this highlights the significance of nutrition knowledge in consuming a healthy diet. ...
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Abstract—In terms of mobile apps, mHealth technology might enhance public health. However, despite the development of hundreds of health-related mobile applications, few studies have studied their relationship to psychological constructs. This study aimed to evaluate the association between the intensity of mHealth app use and nutrition knowledge, healthy-eating self-efficacy, and positive body image among Jordanian students and to measure their levels. In the first semester of the academic year 2022-2023, a structured, self-administered web-based questionnaire containing valid and reliable measures (i.e., positive body image scale, healthy eating self-efficacy, general nutrition knowledge questionnaire, and the adopted intensity use of mHealth apps scale) was administered to 414 undergraduates. The findings reported that their usage of mHealth-related mobile applications was low, as they had inadequate nutrition knowledge, low healthy-eating self-efficacy, and a moderate positive body image. The Pearson correlation analysis revealed a significant and positive correlation between the degree of usage of health-related mobile applications and nutrition knowledge, healthy eating self-efficacy, and positive body image (p<0.01). These findings underscore the need to promote healthy eating self-efficacy and positive body image among students and to improve their nutrition knowledge. In addition, these results advise decision-makers to encourage students to include mHealth applications in their daily routines to benefit their health.
... This social repercussion also coincides with a high production of scientific documents, being one of the sports in which more research is carried out [1]. These investigations have different objects of study such as psychological aspects [2,3], nutritional aspects [4][5][6], technicians and tactics [7][8][9], physical fitness (PF) [10,11] or game indicators (GI) [12][13][14]. Research approaches are sometimes conducted in isolation, without interaction between the different topics. ...
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The evaluation of physical fitness in team sports is enjoying greater importance in the training of professional teams. The objectives of this research were to characterize physical fitness and game indicators based on the game position. This is an empirical study, with a quantitative, descriptive and cross-sectional methodology. In addition, different relationships between the level of physical fitness and the game indicators during the competition were determined. Finally, a predictive analysis of the selected variables was carried out in order to know the importance of the variables in the performance and at what time of the season they had the greatest impact. For this, a professional female basketball team (n = 12) with a mean age of 25.25 ± 7.617 years, height 178.25 ± 9.206 cm and a body mass of 72.33 ± 11.657 kg was analyzed. Each player was equipped with a WIMUPRO inertial device, and all competition statistics were analyzed. The results obtained show that there were no differences among all the skills evaluated and game indicators depending on the game position. Likewise, a relationship was determined between the level of physical fitness and the technical–tactical contribution, being different between different times of the season. Moreover, physical fitness only predicted the player’s final performance in the competition for female player centers in the first and second rounds of the championship, and for forwards in the first round. Four physical-physiological profiles with contributions to the different ones during the competition were also determined. Finally, three groups of female players by playing position were identified according to their sport performance, namely PIR, high, medium and low ratings, associated with physical performances. In all groups, there were significant differences between playing positions, PIR and physical performances.
... The tool, will help to guide discussion between sports health professionals about the need of specific supplements. Taking in account that there are many challenges, like problems with time management [34] and/or limited professional support [35], sports health professionals need to reserve time as part of their team work to agree on the topic of meaningful and safe supplement usage to ensure athletes are served with the highest quality of advice [36]. ...
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Background: A wide range of sports health professionals provide nutritional supplement advice. We aimed to better understand the expertise, knowledge, and attitudes of sports health professionals toward nutritional supplements and third-party supplement testing. Methods: A web-based questionnaire was used to ask questions about nutritional supplement knowledge and attitudes toward the Dutch third-party supplement testing system (NZVT), about supplement efficacy, and if professionals advise these supplements, as well as which profession can be deemed the expert on nutritional supplements. Results: A total of n = 320 sports health professionals delivered input, of which 45% worked with Olympic athletes and 18% were sports dietitians. Sports dietitians were ranked as the most knowledgeable professionals about sports nutrition (80%) and nutritional supplements (74%), and a literature-based comparison showed the most favorable knowledge, attitudes, and ergogenic classifications of supplement scores for sports dietitians compared with other sports health professions. Sports health professionals working with Olympic athletes scored similar but slightly lower trends on self-reported knowledge, attitude and third-party supplement testing than sports dietitians but substantially better than professionals not working with Olympic athletes. Conclusion: Sports dietitians are seen as the absolute expert on supplements by other sports health professionals, with professionals working with Olympic athletes reporting similar trends, and other sports health professionals do have lower self-reported knowledge and preferred attitudes toward effective and safe use of dietary supplements.
Conference Paper
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La nutrición deportiva es una ciencia relativamente nueva que ha crecido exponencialmente debido a su papel fundamental en el rendimiento deportivo y la salud. Los resultados de esta ciencia suponen una valiosa información para elaborar estrategias de recuperación tras el ejercicio, y de preparación antes del siguiente esfuerzo, representando una clara ventaja competitiva. En el caso del baloncesto, son fundamentales, ya que además de la propia fatiga que genera el deporte, el tiempo de recuperación existente entre partidos y entrenamientos es muy limitado, pudiendo haber hasta tres partidos en una misma semana. A pesar del conocimiento teórico que evidencia el papel de la nutrición en el baloncesto, es habitual observar que jugadores y jugadoras no se adhieren a estas recomendaciones, desarrollando comportamientos y hábitos inadecuados. Entre otros riesgos, los jugadores y jugadoras se exponen a que su alimentación no sea óptima, ni en calidad ni en cantidad, dificultando el aporte de energía, macronutrientes y micronutrientes. Cuando este estado deficitario en energía (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports, RED´s) se mantiene durante largo tiempo, pueden ocurrir graves consecuencias fisiológicas, que en el caso de la mujer deportista tienen un impacto mayor sobre el rendimiento deportivo y la salud. Además, el crecimiento exponencial del deporte femenino en general y del baloncesto en particular, ha generado un aumento en el número de entrenamientos y competiciones por lo que estas demandas son cada vez más elevadas y el riesgo de no cubrirlas es por tanto mayor. El principal desencadenante de estas consecuencias adversas es no aportar suficiente energía con la alimentación, desembocando en una cascada de alteraciones hormonales (RED´s). Para reconocer estas respuestas antes de que se agraven, existen métodos de evaluación sencillos de aplicar como la medición del peso. Además, la comunidad científica sostiene que la educación nutricional representa una solución para prevenir evitar esta falta energética. Sin embargo, la falta de recursos económicos en el baloncesto femenino dificulta que estas intervenciones se lleven a cabo por un profesional de la nutrición, por lo que son las propias jugadoras las que con frecuencia deben realizar estos cuidados y ser autónomas en su educación nutricional. Ante el riesgo de que no puedan realizarlos de manera correcta, este trabajo pretende describir en una submuestra de jugadoras de baloncesto, los conocimientos de nutrición deportiva, así como otras variables fisiológicas (apetito, saciedad) y comportamentales (preocupación del peso, control de peso) que puedan influir en un aporte óptimo de energía.
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Although there is a plethora of information available regarding the impact of nutrition on exercise performance, many recommendations are based on male needs due to the dominance of male participation in the nutrition and exercise science literature. Female participation in sport and exercise is prevalent, making it vital for guidelines to address the sex-specific nutritional needs. Female hormonal levels, such as estrogen and progesterone, fluctuate throughout the mensural cycle and lifecycle requiring more attention for effective nutritional considerations. Sex-specific nutritional recommendations and guidelines for the active female and female athlete have been lacking to date and warrant further consideration. This review provides a practical overview of key physiological and nutritional considerations for the active female. Available literature regarding sex-specific nutrition and dietary supplement guidelines for women has been synthesized, offering evidenced-based practical information that can be incorporated into the daily lives of women to improve performance, body composition, and overall health.
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The aim of this study was analyze the effect of playing against biological matched and un-matched opposition, on physical performance and spatial exploration behavior of youth basketball players. Thirty under-14 to 16 basketball players were assigned to different teams according to maturity status (Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Peak Height Velocity [PHV]), and participated in basketball matches against matched (same maturity status), and un-matched (different maturity status) opposition. Maturity status was estimated considering the percentage of predicted adult height. Workload data was collected via inertial devices (IMUs) and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB)-based system. Heart rate was recorded with individual HR monitors. The Pre-PHV performed significantly more accelerations and decelerations and explored more space against matched opposition. Against un-matched opposition, the Pre-PHV presented higher average speed, body impacts, and Player Load. Both Mid- and Post-PHV covered more distance against matched opposition than against Pre-PHV. Games against Pre-PHV involved lower distance covered, average speed, Player Load, and higher accelerations and decelerations, than against Mid- and Post-PHV. The Pre-PHV athletes performed a higher number of accelerations and decelerations comparing to the Mid and Post-PHV players. Also, a significant interaction effect (group x time) was found in distance covered, average speed, body impacts, and Player Load. The type of opposition influenced physical performance and spatial exploration behavior during basketball matches, particularly of less-mature players. Based on present findings, practitioners can select the most suitable game format, considering the physical, technical, tactical, and psychological development needs, individualizing training stimulus.
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Elite performance in team sports attracts the attention of the general public. In particular, the best players became incredibly skilled and physically powerful, which is a fact that potentiates the delivery of a product that is considered attractive, exciting, and competitive. Not surprisingly, this is a very valuable product from an economic and social standpoint; thus, all sports professionals are extremely interested in developing new procedures to improve their sports performance. Furthermore, the great interests of the various stakeholders (owners, chief executive officers (CEOs), agents, fans, media, coaches, players, families, and friends) are one of the main reasons for this development under the sports science umbrella and the accompanying sports industry. All their personal performances should be coordinated and put into practice by the sports team. In this scientific and applied study, we primarily dealt with the individual treatment of players in order to improve their personal performance and, consequently, the team’s sporting performance.
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Objective: Recognizing the high stakes associated with winning and losing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms of NBA game-play performance would provide substantial benefit to all stakeholders involved with preparing NBA players and teams for competitive success. To the authors’ best of knowledge, this systematic review presents the first attempt to systematically amalgamate and appraise the scientific literature published in the XXI Century, following a constraints-led approach (CLA). In particular, two underpinning factors of NBA game-play performance were investigated: (1) NBA player constraints (internal variables) and (2) NBA contextual constraints (external variables). Methods: Databases included PubMed (MEDLINE), Web of Science (WOS), ResearchGate, SPORTDiscus, SCOPUS, Google Scholar, and the World Association of Basketball Coaches’ database (WABC). This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) model and the Population, Intervention, Comparison and Outcomes (PICOS) guidelines. Results: Ultimately, 43 articles met the inclusion criteria (n=43). Promisingly, the vast majority of studies were published in recent years (>2016; n=28; 65.1%). Topics related to ‘contextual constraints’ (n=25; 58.1%) received more attention than topics related to ‘player constraints’ (n=18; 41.9%). Even though the importance of longitudinal-interventional approaches to applied sports science is well-documented, descriptive-observational research emerged as the most popular method of choice (n=27; 62.8%); interventional studies were absent; and near all researchers merely utilized secondary data sources (n=37; 86.0%). Conclusions: Taking into account the total body of evidence (2001-2020), NBA practitioners may use this systematic review as a baseline reference to enrich their current knowledge about the nature, demands, and dynamics of the modern-day NBA ecosystem. Finally, adoption of an ‘Applied Science Research Framework’ is encouraged, fostering clearly outlined project incentives; standardizing taxonomies; sequencing follow-up studies; embracing holistic and cross-disciplinary viewpoints; and integrating longitudinal-interventional projects to increase the reproducibility of their findings.
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Since the accelerating development of technology applied to team sports and its subsequent high amount of information available, the need for data mining leads to the use of data reduction techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA). This systematic review aims to identify determinant variables in soccer, basketball and rugby using exploratory factor analysis for, training design, performance analysis and talent identification. Three electronic databases (Pub-Med, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus) were systematically searched and 34 studies were finally included in the qualitative synthesis. Through PCA, data sets were reduced by 75.07%, and 3.9 ± 2.53 factors were retained that explained 80 ± 0.14% of the total variance. All team sports should be analyzed or trained based on the high level of aerobic capacity combined with adequate levels of power and strength to perform repeated high-intensity actions in a very short time, which differ between team sports. Accelerations and decelerations are mainly significant in soccer, jumps and landings are crucial in basketball, and impacts are primarily identified in rugby. Besides, from these team sports, primary information about different technical/tactical variables was extracted such as (a) soccer: occupied space, ball controls, passes, and shots; (b) basketball: throws, rebounds, and turnovers; or (c) rugby: possession game pace and team formation. Regarding talent identification, both anthropometrics and some physical capacity measures are relevant in soccer and basketball. Although overall, since these variables have been identified in different investigations, further studies should perform PCA on data sets that involve variables from different dimensions (technical, tactical, conditional).
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Background: The tool kits of bibliometrics and science mapping provide a standard methodology to map the knowledge base of specific fields of science. The aim of the present research is the analysis of the recent international trends of sport nutrition science, as well as the primary identification of the research topics and results of sport nutrition science via enhanced bibliometric methods for the 2000-2018 time period. Methods: Altogether, 3889 publications were included in this study. We identified the most relevant sport nutrition topics by running a community detection algorithm on the proximity network constructed via network text analysis. The key issues and key concepts of sport nutrition topics as well as their relations were evaluated via network analysis. Besides, we carried a chronological analysis of topics out and a scientometric evaluative analysis was also created. Results: We identified the four main basic groups from which the 18 most characteristics topics were analyzed. The 18 topics are the following: 'soccer and physiology', 'carbohydrate metabolism', 'muscle physiology: alkalosis and acidosis', 'muscle mass gain and dietary supplementation', 'fluid balance and hydration', 'dietary intake and nutrition knowledge', 'determination of energy need of athletes', 'bone health and female athlete triad', 'hydration strategy', 'body weight management', 'nutritional strategies and human skeletal muscle', 'dietary supplementation of nitrates', 'oxidative stress and dietary supplement use', 'dietary supplement use and doping', 'oxidative stress and inflammation and dietary antioxidants', 'exercise adaptation and nutritional strategies', 'gut microbiota', 'celiac disease'. Regarding the size of the topic, researches on sport nutrition science have put the focus on the following three groups: 'muscle mass gain and dietary supplementation', 'carbohydrate metabolism', 'oxidative stress and dietary supplement use'. The greatest scientific impact can be ascribed to the following topics: 'nutritional strategies and human skeletal muscle', 'dietary supplementation of nitrates', 'body weight management', and 'gut microbiota'. Conclusions: Scientific output on sport nutrition has continuously been rising between 2000 and 2018. The ratio of topics related to sport nutrition but predominantly connected to basic research has decreased significantly within all publications. The results of this study confirm the role of science mapping in the identification of specific research topics and primary research directions in the field of sport nutrition science.
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Improvements in nutrition knowledge have been associated with increased carbohydrate consumption and greater adherence to dietary recommendations among female athletes. In order to assess whether nutrition knowledge interventions in female Gaelic games players may be beneficial, it is necessary to first of all investigate current levels of nutrition knowledge in this population. Given that many demographic characteristics have been shown to influence nutrition knowledge, it is also important for these to be investigated. The aims of this study were to evaluate the nutrition knowledge of female Gaelic games players, compare knowledge by players’ characteristics and identify players’ preferences for information and support. A validated 35-item questionnaire was completed by 328 female Gaelic games players (Age: 23.7 ± 5.0 years). Players’ mean nutrition knowledge score was 46.0% ± 11.8% and classified as “poor”. Elite players scored greater (+4.5–5.9%, p < 0.05) than subelite players. Players with higher levels of general education, history of formal nutrition education and previous advice from a nutritionist also presented greater nutrition knowledge (+3.7–7.5%, p < 0.05). Future education interventions with female Gaelic games players may lead to beneficial changes in dietary behaviour and would likely benefit from stratifying content based on athletes’ demographic characteristics, given the differences observed.
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To the best of our knowledge, no specific questionnaires on sports nutrition knowledge (NK) have been validated so far in Italian early adolescents. The aim of the present study was to validate a short (26-item) general and sports NK questionnaire in a group of Italian early adolescents. To this aim, the questionnaire was administered to 264 subjects for analysis of internal consistency, and in a subgroup (n = 39) for evaluating the reliability over time. The questionnaire revealed good overall internal consistency and reliability (Cronbach’s α = 0.684) and a highly significant correlation over time (r = 0.977, p < 0.001). Comparison with other validated questionnaires is tricky, because the previous questionnaires were validated in different populations, such as middle or late adolescents or adults, with a higher number of items compared to our questionnaire. Furthermore, data on adolescent NK in Italy are very limited. This study provides a brief, feasible, and validated questionnaire that can be used for investigating sports NK in young subjects. It could be used for evaluating the efficacy of education on general and sports nutrition in both the general population and athletes, and for investigating the relationship between NK and different sports in early adolescence.
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Performance in basketball is multifactorial. One of the modifying factors is the "Relative Age Effect-RAE". However, its impact depends on the sample characteristics and sport context. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the RAE on basketball competition performance by analysing peer-reviewed articles published until July 2020. According to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses systematic search guidelines, nine studies were identified in four databases: Sport Discus, PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. Moreover, a study quality analysis using "Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology" guidelines was carried out. The results confirmed an impact of the RAE on competition performance in basketball (56% measurements) and a higher influence of the RAE on short-term collective performance (54% measurements). Statistical parameters were affected, especially in men and U14-U18 categories. No impact of the RAE reversal and no influence of the RAE on long-term collective performance were found. There was a higher impact of the RAE in men (71%), the U14-U18 categories (44%), and at the national level (40%) was identified. The RAE has a variable influence on basketball performance according to developmental constraints. Nevertheless, the findings should be considered based on the sport context due to the heterogeneity and variability of the identified results.
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Purpose of Review During a soccer season, athletes tend to play intense and light matches such as decisive and qualifying games. The amount of muscle glycogen stores is a determining factor of performance during exercise, and manipulation of carbohydrate intake during the soccer season to enhance muscle glycogen stores can improve the performance of elite soccer players. The purpose of this review is to provide a holistic view of the periodization of carbohydrates and their effects on sports performance, based on what the literature recommends for the periodization of carbohydrates for endurance athletes, and of muscle glycogen recovery and compensation among professional soccer players. Recent Findings The ingestion of large amounts of carbohydrates (CHO;10 g/kg of body weight (BW)/day) is important 36 h before a match for the elite soccer player to ensure muscle glycogen supercompensation. In addition, elite soccer players should intake 1 to 1.5 g/kg BW/h within the first 4 h after a soccer game to maximize glycogen resynthesis. However, the season is comprised of away and home games that require different intensities; thus, soccer players need to periodize CHO intake based on evidence-based recommendations such as “train low,” “train low, compete high,” and/or “sleep low.” The goal is to induce training adaptations by alternating with high or low CHO availability based on seasons, matches, and training intensities. The strategy can result in improved performance during games. Summary Periodizing the consumption of carbohydrates, based on the intensity of training and matches, should include more carbohydrates when the matches require higher intensity and fewer carbohydrates when they require lower intensity; this is a strategy that will improve the performance of elite soccer athletes.