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Evidence-Based Supplements for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance

Peeling, P., Binnie, M.J., Goods, P.S.R., Sim, M. and Burke, L.M. (2018) Evidence-Based Supplements for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 28 (2). pp. 178-187.

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Numerous factors contribute to peak athletic performance. Among these, a strong foundation in physical conditioning and sport-specific experience, in addition to a bespoke and periodized training and nutrition program, the latter based predominately from whole food choices, are essential. Once these underpinning factors are accounted for, and the athlete reaches a training maturity and competition level where marginal gains determine success, a role may exist for the use of evidence-based performance supplements. Although an array of supplements are marketed for the enhancement of sports performance, many lack robust evidence of an ergogenic benefit. Furthermore, some may actually impair performance, often due to gastrointestinal (GI) concerns, while others are potentially detrimental to an athlete’s health. Finally, numerous ingredients in commercial supplements, sometimes presenting as contaminants or undeclared ingredients, carry a risk of inadvertent anti-doping rule violations (Baylis et al., 2001). With this in mind, athletes and their associated support teams should only consider performance supplements where a strong body of evidence supports their use as safe, legal, and effective.

The following review focuses on the available evidence base for performance supplements that are commonly used in sport, summarizing the type of event/exercise scenario they are suited to, the potential mechanisms of beneficial effects, and the typical dosing schedule/protocols of use. The supplements of interest have been divided into three categories according to the strength of evidence supporting their use for the enhancement of sports performance. These categories include: (1) established, (2) equivocal, and (3) developing performance supplements.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Copyright: © 2018 Peeling et al.
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