Traditional and nontraditional supplement use by collegiate female varsity athletes

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Oct;14(5):586-93. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.14.5.586.


This study examined the traditional (single and multivitamin/mineral supplements) and nontraditional supplement (herbals, botanicals, and other biologic and nutrient supplements) use by female athletes. Frequency, reasons for use, and sources of supplement information were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Participants were 162 collegiate female varsity athletes. More than half of all athletes used some type of supplement at least once a month (65.4%). Thirty-six percent (n = 58) of the sample used a multivitamin and mineral with iron. Twelve percent (n = 19) reported amino acid/protein supplement use and 17% (n = 29) used an herbal/botanical supplement. The most frequently cited reason for supplement use was "good health" (60.1%). A major source of information on supplements reported was family (53%). With the general rise in supplement use, nutrition education on the use of traditional and non-traditional supplements is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Minerals / administration & dosage*
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Minerals
  • Vitamins