Supplements can confuse athletes

Nov. 9, 2007 at 12:04 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Athletes frequently take supplements without realizing the potential benefits or side effects, a British study found.

Researchers led by Andrea Petroczi of the School of Life Sciences at Kingston University, London, analyzed surveys by high-performance athletes, representing more than 30 different sports.

Three-fifths of the athletes said they took nutritional supplements, but the reasons given did not generally match up to the supplements' actual effects. The study, published in Nutrition Journal, also found that relatively few supplement users appeared to be taking supplements because of medical advice.

"Athletes seem to take supplements without an understanding of the benefits they can offer, or their side effects, suggesting that supplements may be used by high performing athletes without a clear, coherent plan," Petroczi said in a statement.

The researchers recommend that education about the use of nutritional supplements should become a required part of the accreditation process for all coaches.

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