Jan 19, 2016
Reasons for Taking Supplements

A recently published study suggests that some young athletes may not be able to clearly say why they are taking sports supplements. Most of the study’s participants were able to provide a clear answer for taking ergogenic aids, but for other supplements such as protein, plant extracts, and vitamin-enriched water, they were less clear.

The study’s findings are briefed in an article from Nutraingredients-USA.com. The study asked 567 Canadian athletes (whose ages ranged from 11 to 25 years old) to fill out a questionnaire about their supplement use with the goal of examining the self-reported rationale for their use. Conducted by researchers from Mount Royal University, University of Delaware, and University of Calgary, the study is published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. About three-fourths of the participants compete at the club or provincial level; the rest compete in higher levels.

Of the 27 supplements included in the survey, the most popular were electrolyte drinks, protein bars, multi-vitamin/multi-mineral, vitamin-enriched water, and protein powder. A majority of the respondents cited at least one health-related reason for taking supplements, with many also stating performance as a reason.

“Although in some cases supplement choices are congruent with the established benefits of the supplement, there are many instances where there is a lack of evidence to support supplementation practices as they relate to their self-reported motivations for supplement use,” the study’s authors write in the article’s conclusions. “Additional research into the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements in this demographic is required.”

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