Use of Dietary Supplements among Professional Athletes

Use of Dietary Supplements among Professional Athletes
Use of Dietary Supplements among Professional Athletes

Theobjective of this study was to understand the usage patterns of dietary supplements among professional athletes in Saudi Arabia. The survey consisted of sixteen questions divided into four categories: use of supplements, reason for consumption of supplements, personal beliefs about supplements, and behavior. The questionnaires were given to the three teams residing in Riyadh: Al Hilal, Al Nasr, and Al-Shabab.


Aljaloud, Sulaiman O., and Salam A. Ibrahim. “Use of dietary supplements among professional athletes in Saudi Arabia.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism 2013 (2013).


Out of the 105 athletes surveyed, we found that only 98 are currently taking dietary supplements and the mean age and standard deviation were 25.74 ± 2.90.The survey results showed a high percentage of athletes (93.3%; 𝑛 = 98) using different dietary supplements throughout the season, 43.8% (𝑛 = 43) reported using supplements for performance, and 32.6% (𝑛 = 32) believed in health benefits as a reason for using dietary supplements. Our results showed that a total of 87 (88.7%), 81 (82.6%), and 51 (52.0%) athletes are consuming sports drinks, vitamin C, and multivitamins, respectively. Meanwhile, those supplements ranking among the least used included omega 6 (18.6%), creatine (16.3%), and Ginkgo biloba (10.2%). A majority of athletes indicated that their use of supplements was for the purpose of improving their health and performance.

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Dietary supplements in the United States, as defined by the Dietary supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, are defined as any “product” (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet that contains one or more dietary ingredients [1]. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, meal supplements, sports nutrition products, natural food supplements, and other related products used to boost the nutritional content of the diet [2, 3]. Many athletes use different dietary supplements for a variety of reasons. Among the most popular products are ergogenic aids such as sports drinks, minerals, caffeine, Coenzyme Q10, and creatine to enhance physical performance and to tolerate pain [4]. This excess has been known to lead to serious health consequences [5]. Some supplements have even been implicated as the cause of death and disability when used improperly [6].Therefore, the amount of dietary supplements consumed should be within the recommended range of protein, carbohydrates, and lipids for that particular product [7].

Our results showed that a total of 88 (88.7%), 81 (82.6%), and 51 (52.0%) athletes were consuming sports drinks, vitamin C, and multivitamins, respectively. Meanwhile, those supplements ranking among the least used included omega 6 (18.6%), creatine (16.3%), and Ginkgo biloba (10.2%). Our study showed that the use of dietary supplements varies with each individual professional athlete for several reasons. According to the given survey, when asked about their use of supplements and their reasons for consumption, a majority of athletes expressed their desire to improve health and performance.


Aljaloud, Sulaiman O., and Salam A. Ibrahim. “Use of dietary supplements among professional athletes in Saudi Arabia.” Journal of nutrition and metabolism 2013 (2013).


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