A study investigating sports students beliefs and their understanding about protein supplementation.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: There is a lot of pressure among athletes to be the best and the strongest causing many to start using supplements. Protein supplements have become among the most popular types of supplements used by athletes. However, studies have shown that both athletes and coaches are often misinformed about these supplements. There is a lot of debate among scientists about protein requirements for athletes which could increase confusion about the need for protein supplements. Some scientists claim that protein requirements are increased in physically active individuals however other scientists suggest that protein requirements are decreased. It has also been shown that the most popular resources used by athletes for research are magazines, the internet and other people. Methodology: The 75 participants involved in the study were sports students studying at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff (UWIC). The participants were each given a participant information sheet, a questionnaire containing a food frequency question along with a food atlas. Protein Intakes and Protein Supplementation: The results showed that the participants most likely to take protein supplements were also the students most likely to consume more than 0.89 of protein/kg bodyweight/day. The study also found that whey protein was the most popular type of protein supplement. Beliefs about Protein Supplements: The majority of participants believed protein supplements speed up recovery and increase muscle mass and therefore would improve their performance. There were however also 14 participants (18.7% of participants) who believed protein supplements to be unnecessary. Beliefs about Protein Supplements: Students studying a sport or nutrition academic course were shown to be more likely to do independent research on protein supplements and the most popular resources used were websites and magazines.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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