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J Sci Med Sport. 2017 Jan;20(1):12-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2016.06.006. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Prevalence, knowledge and attitudes relating to β-alanine use among professional footballers.

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School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia; Performance Sciences Department, Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club, Australia. Electronic address:
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia.
School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.



To investigate β-alanine supplementation use and level of knowledge amongst professional footballers.


Cross-sectional survey of Australian professional football players.


Questionnaires assessing β-alanine supplementation behaviours, level of knowledge and sources of information were completed by professional rugby union (RU) (n=87), rugby league (RL) (n=180) and Australian Rules Football (ARF) (n=303) players.


Approximately 61% of athletes reported β-alanine use, however use by ARF football players (44%) was lower than that of RU (80%) and RL players (80%). The majority of respondents were not using β-alanine in accordance with recommendations. Only 35% of the participants were able to correctly identify the potential benefits of β-alanine supplementation. The main information sources that influenced players' decision to use β-alanine were strength and conditioning coach (71%) and dietitian (52%). Forty-eight per cent of athletes never read labels prior to supplementing and only 11% completed their own research on β-alanine. Compared to RL and ARF players, RU players had both a greater knowledge of β-alanine supplementation and better supplementation practices.


Despite over half the surveyed professional footballers using β-alanine, the majority of athletes used β-alanine in a manner inconsistent with recommendations. A better understanding of the environment and culture within professional football codes is required before supplement use becomes consistent with evidence based supplement recommendations.


Football; Questionnaire; Sport; Supplement

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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