Ergogenic aids in aerobic activity

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2002 Aug;1(4):233-8. doi: 10.1249/00149619-200208000-00007.


There are many products that are potentially ergogenic for aerobic exercise, although evidence-based support varies. The most popular supplements or ergogenic aids for the endurance athlete are caffeine, antioxidants, erythropoietin, and the dietary practice of carbohydrate loading. Caffeine and carbohydrate loading have the most evidence-based support of being both ergogenic and safe. Erythropoietin is ergogenic but unsafe, and is banned by all major sport-sanctioning bodies, and antioxidants have potential but warrant further study. Pyruvate is not ergogenic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / metabolism*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Pyruvic Acid / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Erythropoietin
  • Caffeine
  • Pyruvic Acid