Sports and nutritional supplement use in USMC recruits: a pilot study

Mil Med. 2009 Feb;174(2):158-61. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-00-4708.


Objective: This is a pilot study to describe patterns of nutritional supplement use by recruits entering the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC).

Methods: A survey asking USMC recruits to self-report nutritional supplement use was administered upon entry to basic training. Simple descriptive statistics and prevalence ratios were used to describe patterns of supplement use.

Results: The response rate was 65%. Half of respondents reported nutritional sports supplement use at some point before boot camp. The five most commonly supplements were: protein powder (43%), postrecovery workout drinks (36%), vitamin supplements (26%), creatine (26%), and nitric oxide (16%).

Conclusions: Nutritional supplement use is frequent among recruits entering the USMC. The impact of supplement use on recruit fitness, training, and injury rates is not known.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Data Collection
  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sports*
  • United States
  • Young Adult