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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-24

Evaluation of nutrition knowledge of professional football players

1 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, University of Benghazi; Libyan Football Federation Medical Committee, Libyan Olympic Academy, Benghazi, Libya
2 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya
3 Department of Biochemsitry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mustafa Y. G Younis
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_34_17

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Background: Adequate knowledge of nutrition is believed to influence the performance of endurance athletes. Objectives: To assess the level of nutrition knowledge among football players in Benghazi. Subjects and Methods: Following ethical approval, a cross-sectional study was conducted involving 101 football (soccer) players (25 ± 5 years of age) from seven clubs of the first and second divisions. The height (cm) and weight (kg) were recorded for each player. A questionnaire composed of three sections was filled out by each participant. It included questions concerning personal data, general nutrition, and specific knowledge concerning the appropriate foods to consume before, during, and after exercise. Results: The mean body mass index was 24 ± 2 kg/m2. Fifty-seven percent of the participants were below the university level of formal education. Furthermore, 75% reported that they never received any formal education related specifically to nutrition. In addition, 70% had no knowledge of the concept of the food pyramid, and only 18% of the players communicated with dieticians either during season or off-season. Only 22% answered correctly the questions about which foods are appropriate to consume before and after exercise. Noticeably, 81% of the participants did not correctly identify the contents of the nutrient to be consumed during exercise. Conclusions: The study revealed an alarming lack of nutrition knowledge among professional football players in Benghazi. The results highlight the need to establish specific programs for nutrition education for the players to enhance their knowledge in this critical area and positively influence their dietary habits and ultimately improve their physical performance. It is also important to emphasize the role of qualified dieticians in athletic clubs.

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