A comparison of vitamin supplement intake between athletes and non athletes
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: Vitamins are an essential part of the diet providing benefits both in general health and exercise. Athletes at any standard will look for ways to improve their performance or give themselves a competitive advantage. Information regarding vitamins and their effects is often poor and confusing, leading to people misunderstanding their benefits. Understanding and knowledge about vitamins is limited within the athletic community with many athletes supplementing their diet in this way without really understanding the effects that may result. The study aims to investigate athletes and non-athletes' usage and understanding of the effects of vitamins and the extent of vitamin supplementation. Method: 30 subjects were selected randomly, consisting of 15 athletes from various sports and 15 non-athletes. All participants were able to withdraw from the study at any time. A questionnaire was given to participants to complete. Results: All participants believe that nutrition plays a role in sport and 95% believe vitamins play a role in sporting performance. 19 participants supplemented their diet. Only 10 of these supplemented their diet with vitamins as well as other forms of supplementation. Of the 11 who didn't supplement their diet, 8 would consider changing their views and start supplementing. 70% of users of vitamin supplements used multivitamins but were often unable to provide accurate reasons for why they used them. All participants stated they would consider supplementing their diet if they were shown evidence that vitamins help the body and health. Conclusion: There is a lack of knowledge and understanding around vitamin supplementation mainly due to poor information being provided for athletes and non-athletes. More specific information about the beneficial and adverse effects of vitamins needs to be provided to both subject groups in order for informed decision making to be improved. Further investigation is required into the knowledge of vitamin supplementation amongst athletes.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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