Knowledge and awareness of dietary supplements among athletes in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
The purpose of this study is to investigate the knowledge and awareness of dietary supplements among athletes in Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI). Athletes (n=95, age: 22.5±2.4) completed a questionnaire on Google Docs regarding their habits and perceptions of dietary supplement intake. Among all respondents, 37 out of 95 (39%) took dietary supplements with the primary reason to improve energy (66%), strength (60%) or performance (59%). Athletes who did not take any supplement (58 out of 95; 61%) reported high supplement’s cost as their main reason (28%). The most chosen supplements are protein (43%), mass and strength gainer (19%), vitamin C (11%), energy booster, omega 3, and multivitamin (8% each), creatine, fat burner, vitamin B complex and BCAA (5%, each). The athletes believed that supplements are associated with health risk (75%), supplements can enhance performance (86%) and exercise increase the need for supplements (74%). They also believed that supplements can lead to positive doping results (61%), supplements are needed with a balanced diet (58%) and require more information provided on supplements (96%). The athletes reported that they stop consuming supplements when they are not in training season (71%). Majority of the athletes claimed that they have knowledge of the active ingredients contained in the supplements taken by them (41%), and they also reported that their coaches were their main source of information (59%). Although 66% of them agreed to obtain medical advice before consuming any supplement, there is still a need to develop a system whereby people involved in sports (especially coaches) should have deep knowledge about the different supplements and their effects. The source of knowledge is a critical step to avoid any misleading information, given that doping is a serious offence in competitive sports.
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