Dietary supplement usage and motivation in Brazilian road runners



The consumption of dietary supplements is highest among athletes and it can represent potential a health risk for consumers.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of consumption of dietary supplements by road runners.


We interviewed 817 volunteers from four road races in the Brazilian running calendar. The sample consisted of 671 male and 146 female runners with a mean age of 37.9 ± 12.4 years.


Of the sample, 28.33% reported having used some type of dietary supplement. The main motivation for this consumption is to increase in stamina and improve performance. The probability of consuming dietary supplements increased 4.67 times when the runners were guided by coaches. The consumption of supplements was strongly correlated (r = 0.97) with weekly running distance, and also highly correlated (r = 0.86) with the number of years the sport had been practiced. The longer the runner had practiced the sport, the higher the training volume and the greater the intake of supplements. The five most frequently cited reasons for consumption were: energy enhancement (29.5%), performance improvement (17.1%), increased level of endurance (10.3%), nutrient replacement (11.1%), and avoidance of fatigue (10.3%). About 30% of the consumers declared more than one reason for taking dietary supplements. The most consumed supplements were: carbohydrates (52.17%), vitamins (28.70%), and proteins (13.48%).


Supplement consumption by road runners in Brazil appeared to be guided by the energy boosting properties of the supplement, the influence of coaches, and the experience of the user. The amount of supplement intake seemed to be lower among road runners than for athletes of other sports. We recommend that coaches and nutritionists emphasise that a balanced diet can meet the needs of physically active people.

Road race; Road runners; Dietary supplements; Performance; Running

Autor / Fonte:José Vítor Vieira Salgado, Pablo Christiano Barboza Lollo, Jaime Amaya-Farfan, Mara PatríciaTraina Chacon-Mikahil Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2014, 11: 41