The use of dietary supplements by athletes

J Sports Sci. 2007;25 Suppl 1:S103-13. doi: 10.1080/02640410701607395.

Abstract

Many athletes use dietary supplements as part of their regular training or competition routine, including about 85% of elite track and field athletes. Supplements commonly used include vitamins, minerals, protein, creatine, and various "ergogenic" compounds. These supplements are often used without a full understanding or evaluation of the potential benefits and risks associated with their use, and without consultation with a sports nutrition professional. A few supplements may be helpful to athletes in specific circumstances, especially where food intake or food choice is restricted. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be used only when a food-based solution is not available. Sports drinks, energy bars, and protein-carbohydrate shakes may all be useful and convenient at specific times. There are well-documented roles for creatine, caffeine, and alkalinizing agents in enhancing performance in high-intensity exercise, although much of the evidence does not relate to specific athletic events. There are potential costs associated with all dietary supplements, including the risk of a positive doping result as a consequence of the presence of prohibited substances that are not declared on the label.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance*
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Doping in Sports
  • Humans
  • Sports*
  • Track and Field