Use Knowledge and Beliefs regarding Performance-Enhancing Agents among Saudi Female Athletes

Main Article Content

Mohammed Zaid Aljulifi

Keywords

athletes, beliefs, female, knowledge, performance-enhancing agents (PEAs), Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Women of all ages now have more opportunities to compete at higher levels because of the explosion in professional female sports. This additional potential may encourage female athletes to use performance-enhancing agents (PEAs). The objective of this study is to determine the use, knowledge, and beliefs regarding PEAs among Saudi female athletes. Adolescent and adult female Saudi athletes were included in this descriptive cross-sectional study. The data were collected using an online questionnaire. Overall, 335 female Saudi athletes participated in this study. Only 16.1% of participants reported using PEAs to enhance their performance and body image. Protein supplements were the most commonly used PEAs among the participants (47 participants; 14.6%), followed by energy drinks (45 participants; 14%). There was no significant difference between user knowledge, awareness of negative health consequences, and use of PEAs. To conclude, PEA abuse is rare among athletes in Saudi Arabia. In this study, we reported a lower level of PEAs among female athletes than those reported in a previous Saudi study. Concerning the risk of PEAs use, the study reported that females are exposed equally to protective or risk factors for PEAs use compared to previous studies concerning the male population.

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