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Use of nutritional supplements by elite adult Portuguese athletes is not associated with nutritional intake
  1. M Sousa1,
  2. M J Fernandes2,
  3. P Moreira2,3,
  4. V H Teixeira2,3
  1. 1FPA, Porto, Portugal
  2. 2FCNAUP, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3CIAFEL, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal


This study aimed to characterise the nutritional intake according the use of nutritional supplements (NS) by elite adult Portuguese athletes. Two hundred and two adult (23±4 years) athletes (78% males), representatives of Portugal in 13 sports, voluntarily filled a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire and a questionnaire about the use of NS. The total nutritional daily intake did not consider the nutrients provided by NS. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS V.16.0. The majority of athletes (74%) reported having used at least one NS in the previous year, with a mean consumption of 5.9±3.7 NS per athlete. The most frequently consumed nutritional supplements were sport drinks (63%), proteins (58%), magnesium (56%), iron (30%), vitamin C (29%), sport gels (23%), antioxidants (21%), vitamin B12 (15%) and vitamin E (9%). The mean energy intake was 2875±1313 kcal/days, for males, and 2612±1152 kcal/days, for females. For proteins, the males' intake was 1.7±0.8 g/kg/days and females' intake was 2.1±1.2 g/kg/days. Males consumed 4.8±2.5 g/kg/days of carbohydrates, while females consumed 5.6±2.6 g/kg/days. Intake of less than recommended was observed in 33% for vitamin E in females, and 17% for vitamin E, 5% for folate and 5% for magnesium, in male athletes. For all other micronutrients intakes were above recommended amounts for both genders. There were no differences in the vitamin and mineral intake between supplement users and nonusers, for both genders. The use of NS is very prevalent in elite adult Portuguese athletes and not associated with nutritional total intake.

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