Vitamin/mineral supplement use among athletes: a review of the literature.

J. Sobal, L. F. Marquart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vitamin/mineral supplements are often used by athletes as ergogenic aids to improve performance. This paper reviews studies of the prevalence, patterns, and explanations for vitamin/mineral supplement use among athletes. Fifty-one studies provided quantitative prevalence data on 10,274 male and female athletes at several levels of athletic participation in over 15 sports. The overall mean prevalence of athletes' supplement use was 46%. Most studies reported that over half of the athletes used supplements (range 6% to 100%), and the larger investigations found lower prevalence levels. Elite athletes used supplements more than college or high school athletes. Women used supplements more often than men. Varying patterns existed by sport. Athletes appear to use supplements more than the general population, and some take high doses that may lead to nutritional problems. Sport nutritionists should include a vitamin/mineral supplement history as part of their dietary assessment so they can educate athletes about vitamin/mineral supplements and athletic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-334
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of sport nutrition
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1994

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