Talbott, S., M., & Talbott, J. A. (2009). Dietary supplement use among endurance athletes. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2590.

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The objective of the present study was to gain a greater understanding of the awareness, perceptions, and extent of usage of dietary supplements among endurance athletes. Dietary supplement use among 176 "Ironman" distance (M = 103; F = 71) and 152 "Olympic" distance (M = 89; F = 63) from events in three states was surveyed. Ss were asked 50 questions about dietary supplement usage.

Results showed that triathletes at both Ironman and Olympic distances were avid users of dietary supplements, with Ironman Ss tending to take more supplements for "recovery" (+20%) and "endurance" (+22%) and also tending to report greater supplement usage "after" exercise (+35%), when compared to Olympic-distance triathletes. Primary sources of information about supplements came from friends and training partners, the Internet, and to a much lesser extent coaches/trainers. A very high percentage of triathletes (~90%) indicated difficulty finding accurate information and a need for more information about dietary supplements.

Implication. A very high percentage of triathletes admit to a high usage of dietary supplements as well as a clear desire for additional information regarding the proper use of such products.

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