Abstract Intensity training, talent, and an adequate diet represent the crucial factors for the success of athletes. Unfortunately, athletes prefer intaking substances to quicker and easier increase their performance compared to traditional training. For this reason there has been a significant spread of enhancing substances drugs and dietary supplements (DS), although, as already broadly evidenced, the abuse of those substances could seriously damage athletes’ health. Indeed, DS could contain substances that are not declared on the label, which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). This exploratory study aims to investigate DS phenomenon, specifically, we want to describe this phenomenon among boxers, analyzing typologies of DS intaken, knowledge about DS, main reasons for justifying DS abuse, and places where boxers buy them and potential consultants about suggesting their consumption. Data were collected through a total of 214 anonymous self-report questionnaires administered to boxers in Campania (Italy), 169 questionnaires were considered valid. The study collects data exclusively for male athletes. Indeed, the results demonstrate that boxers, mainly men (88.4% of the sample), practice sport mostly for fun and they intake DS for balancing out nutritional deficiencies and having more energy. Mineral salts (N=88) and vitamins (N=85) are broadly intaken compared to other substances. The consumption of DSis recommended by coach in the competitive athletes (N=33), against non-competitive boxer whom consultant is the doctor (N=25). Boxers mostly buy the supplements in the drugstore. In summary, the results demonstrate that boxers widely intake DS for improving their performance. Also, implications for research and practice are discussed.
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