An investigation into the use, knowledge and perception of protein supplements in UK Gym user’s using a descriptive design.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in research investigating exercise performance and nutrition. Supplementation is becoming increasingly common amongst professional athletes and sports people and this practice has also extended to other active individuals in the general population, particularly those who regularly attend commercial gyms. Methods and Materials A qualitative and quantitative approach using a descriptive design was used to investigate the use, knowledge and perception of protein supplementation in a group of healthy UK adults aged 18-50 years who regularly attend a commercial gym. The method of data collection was a self-administered questionnaire and a 24 hour dietary recall. Results The questionnaire (See Appendix 2) was distributed to 35 individuals, of whom 32 returned it completed (Response rate 91%). An analysis of protein intake portrayed a large standard deviation highlighting the discrepant rates of supplement use among people who exercise in gyms. All participants exceeded the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) for protein by over 100% through diet alone. A good level of knowledge regarding the protein content of foods was evident among however results suggest some confusion regarding the optimal dose and frequency of protein intake. Poor dietary habits and meal patterns were often compensated with protein supplementation. Conclusion An individual approach based on the broad framework of recommended macronutrient ranges in combination with the consideration of overall energy intake is crucial as the surplus of protein may be indeed utilised for energy, rather than for its role in the repair and growth of body tissues. Protein requirements should reflect the needs of the individual in terms of physical activity, body composition and personal training goals.
BSc (Hons) Human Nuturition and Dietetics
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