Vitamin/mineral supplements are consumed by adolescent athletes motivated both by general health concerns and a desire for improved athletic performance. Supplement use by high school athletes was examined using a questionnaire administered to 742 athletes at all nine schools in one rural county. A total of 38% used supplements, with supplement use not differing by gender or grade in school. Athletes with aspirations to participate in college sports more often consumed supplements. Healthy growth, treating illness, and sports performance were the most important reasons for supplement use, with parents, doctors, and coaches being the greatest influences on use. Most athletes (62%), especially boys, believed supplement consumption improved athletic performance. Supplement use by these adolescents appears to be motivated more by health reasons than sports performance. It is suggested that it may be useful to assess vitamin/mineral supplement use by adolescents and to provide education and counseling about diet, nutrition, and exercise for those who use them as ergogenic aids to improve athletic performance.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1994|