Self-Reported Use and Reasons among the General Population for Using Sports Nutrition Products and Dietary Supplements

Sports (Basel). 2016 Jun 7;4(2):33. doi: 10.3390/sports4020033.


The purpose of the present study was to determine the prevalence of dietary supplements (DS's) and sport nutrition product (SNPs) among the general population, to identify differences for gender, age, and exercise frequency, and to determine the main reasons for use. The study was designed as a web-based questionnaire in a representative sample (n = 1544) of the Dutch population. Sixty-two percent (n = 957) of the respondents reported having used DS's, SNPs, or both in the last twelve months. Women and older people reported the highest DS use. The highest use of SNPs was reported by regular exercising men and younger people with improving sporting performance as their main objective. Most frequently reported DS's were multivitamins (28%) and vitamin C (19%)-for SNPs, energy drinks (22%) and isotonic drinks (19%). Health considerations were the most important motivation (DS's 90% and SNPs 52%), but also performance was substantially reported (DS's 14% and SNPs 35%). A substantial group of sedentary respondents also reported the use of SNPs. This study confirms that DS's, SNPs, or both are widely used among the general population. Both health as performance are important reasons for use. It can be questioned whether the use of SNPs fits all respondents' physical activity needs.

Keywords: exercise; health; nutritional supplements; performance; sports dietetics.