According to the results presented in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, roughly 54 per cent of the 200 endurance athletes surveyed reported using at least three dietary supplements, and 78% were former consumers of dietary supplements (DS).
Researchers in Southern Mississippi College and Texas Christian College said the ten most popular dietary supplements are as follows: multivitamins, electrolytes, vitamin D, protein, B vitamins, fish oil, probiotics, melatonin, and amino acids—branched-chain amino acids, and glucosamine chondroitin.
According to the study, utilization was much greater among older athletes:
The incidence and characteristics of DS use in a sample of endurance cyclists, runners, and triathletes require further exploration of age-specific benefits and characteristics of DS use.
This data demonstrates comparable overall use that the Responsible Eating Council recorded in its yearly survey of dietary supplement customers.
The 2021 CRN survey confirmed that 80% of people currently use dietary supplements, a 7% increase from 2020.
Additionally, a growing percentage of people—79% in 2021 versus 74% in 2020—believe that the dietary supplement industry is trustworthy.
Multivitamins may still be the most commonly used supplements, accounting for 75% of all supplement users.
The new survey of endurance athletes included 200 cyclists, runners and triathletes (108 girls, 92 men) who completed a questionnaire on dietary supplement consumption.
The median supplement use among older athletes (40+) was 4.3, while the median supplement use among athletes under 40 was 2.7.
The researchers said that examining the types of supplements used confirmed that older athletes used more electrolytes, probiotics, melatonin and vitamin D than younger athletes.
Motivations for supplement use varied by supplement type; for example, most respondents reported using protein supplements to meet their daily protein needs and electrolytes to increase fluid stability.
On the other hand, fish oil is mainly used for general health, while probiotics use for general health, digestion and immune system support.
A few athletes admitted to using CBD supplements, and those over 50 used much more than those under 50. Pain reduction and better sleep are the two most common justifications for using CBD.
The information confirmed that 78% of respondents used at least one dietary supplement. Of the 22% of non-users, many said they were former customers but stopped using it mainly because of a perceived lack of effectiveness.
Implementing data from unreliable sources could result in incorrect diagnoses or unrealistic expectations for DS, which could cause frustration and dropout rates, the researchers warned.
"Athletes and others should obtain data from trusted professionals to ensure DS therapy is applicable and meets realistic expectations."
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