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Scientifica
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 180353, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/180353
Clinical Study

Relationship between Nutrition Knowledge and Physical Fitness in Semiprofessional Soccer Players

1Department of Physical and Cultural Education, Hellenic Army Academy, 16672 Athens, Greece
2Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 18450 Nikaia, Greece
3Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Athens, 17237 Athens, Greece

Received 20 January 2014; Revised 3 July 2014; Accepted 11 July 2014; Published 21 July 2014

Academic Editor: Lawrence M. Lewis

Copyright © 2014 P. T. Nikolaidis and E. Theodoropoulou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Whereas nutrition has a crucial role on sport performance, it is not clear to what extent nutrition knowledge is associated with physical fitness. The aim of this study was to examine the current level of nutrition knowledge of soccer players and whether this level is associated with physical fitness. Soccer players ( , aged  yr, weight  kg, and height  cm) performed a battery of physical fitness tests (sit-and-reach test, SAR; physical working capacity in heart rate 170, PWC170; and Wingate anaerobic test, WAnT) and completed an 11-item nutrition knowledge questionnaire (NKQ). Low to moderate Pearson correlations ( , ) of NKQ with age, weight, height, fat free mass (FFM), SAR, peak power, and mean power of WAnT were observed. Soccer players with high score in NKQ were older (4.4 yr (2.2; 6.6), mean difference (95% confidence intervals)) and heavier (4.5 kg (0.6; 8.3)) with higher FFM (4.0 kg (1.1; 6.8)) and peak power (59 W (2; 116)) than their counterparts with low score. The moderate score in the NKQ suggests that soccer players should be targeted for nutrition education. Although the association between NKQ and physical fitness was low to moderate, there were indications that better nutrition knowledge might result in higher physical fitness and, consequently, soccer performance.