Dietary Supplements and Sport Performance - A Comprehensive Review

  • Julij Šelb University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik
  • Helena Lenasi* University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Physiology, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract

Aim: Comprehensive articles on dietary supplements and their impact on sport performance, which
would provide professional and recreational athletes with evidence-based information, are sparse.
Methods: Investigation involved eight different dietary supplements, commonly used among
recreational and endurance athletes according to available literature obtained by searching the
PubMed database, namely:Antioxidants, beta-alanine (B-alanine), branched-chain amino acids
(BCAAs), caffeine, carbohydrates, creatine, nitric oxide/nitrates, and proteins. Their mechanisms of
action have been briefly presented, along with their potential beneficial and harmful side effects and
safety.
Results: i.)Antioxidants: A sufficient amount of antioxidants is available in a balanced diet ii.)B-alanine: Supplementation is likely to be beneficial in high-intensity exercises. iii.)BCAAs: No review articles in English were available iv.)Caffeine: Caffeine supplementation is beneficial in endurance exercises v.) Carbohydrates: Carbohydrate supplementation is probably beneficial in exercises lasting longer than one hour vi.) Creatine: Creatine supplementation is effective in high intensity, short-lasting exercise, while it does not seem to have any ergogenic effect in aerobic exercise. vii.) Nitric oxide/nitrates: Nitrate supplementation has a small but significant performance-enhancing effect, most apparently in situations of insufficient perfusion. viii.) Proteins: Protein supplementation, in combination with resistance exercise, most likely has beneficial effects on lean body mass and muscle strength.
Conclusion: Most of the analyzed dietary supplements, if used for intended exercise regime, provide a kind of sport performance enhancement. On the other hand, long-term studies about their safety are mostly lacking.
term studies about their safety are mostly lacking.
 

Keywords: dietary supplements, sports, endurance, performance-enhancing substances
Published
Apr 3, 2018
How to Cite
ŠELB, Julij; LENASI*, Helena. Dietary Supplements and Sport Performance - A Comprehensive Review. Southeastern European Medical Journal, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 33-45, apr. 2018. ISSN 2459-9484. Available at: <http://seemedj.mefos.unios.hr/index.php/seemedj/article/view/49>. Date accessed: 10 apr. 2020. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.26332/seemedj.v1i2.49.
Section
Articles