What They Found
The survey showed 82.2% of athletes used supplements, of which 60.6% were male. 82.2% of athletes used one-two different supplements at the same time, 62.1% two-three, 35.9% three-four, and 14.7% used four and more supplements, with kayak, swimming, and karate identified as the sports with the highest number.
Whey protein was the most popular supplement, with 54.5% consuming it among ten other supplements. Unfortunately, young athletes appear to lack proper knowledge about the use of creatine (11.1% of athletes responded correctly), beta alanine (20.0%), amino acids (20.0%), nitrate oxide (22.2%), glutamine (37.5%), protein (38.5%), and carbohydrates (48.3%). Yet they seem to have more knowledge about sports drinks (50%), caffeine (61.8%), and vitamins and minerals (71.0%).
The main reasons athletes wanted to take supplements was for an improvement in performance (35.3%), with 72.1% of athletes being aware of a certain health risk, 14.9% thought they were risky, and 12.9% of athletes considering them to be safe. Additionally, the coach appeared to be the main source of information regarding the use of creatine, carbohydrates, amino acids, caffeine, sports drinks, glutamine, nitrite oxide, protein, beta alanine, vitamins, and minerals.
Finally, this study revealed that 55.5% of athletes had access and were familiar with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).