A review of the understanding and beliefs of caffeine based pre-workout supplements in professional and non-professional athletes.
Maynard, Thomas Rhys Clement
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of the study was to obtain qualitative and quantitative data on the use of caffeinated supplements amongst a group of full time professional rugby union players and players from their Academy programme, with particular interest being placed on their attitudes and understanding towards caffeinated supplements. Method: Structured questionnaire based interviews were conducted with all participants (n = 26) with an equal number of both 1st XV and Academy players selected (n = 13). Participants were asked various questions relating to their attitudes, understanding and beliefs towards caffeinated supplements. Results: Participants recorded consuming a variety of supplements including protein, electrolyte and caffeine based supplements. The most popular supplement used amongst the population group was Red Bull®, the most popular time for consumption was prior to games. Benefits reported by the players included feeling of increased alertness, energy and better performance levels. Players who did not consume caffeine did so because they felt that they were unsure of the benefits of consumption and that they also felt that there was no benefit in doing so. Discussion: From the literature reviewed and the information gained from completion of the study it can be concluded that there are clear benefits from consumption of caffeinated supplements in a sport such as rugby union. Athletes' attitudes and beliefs towards the use of caffeinated supplements are mixed and many players who chose to consume the supplement do so because of the information provided by peers or from their own beliefs performance levels are increased. Conclusion: 92% of the players who completed the study said that they would welcome and would see a benefit in being supplied with more information relating to caffeinated supplementation, and that the most popular method of delivery would be from a qualified nutritionist.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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