In the last few decades, the sports supplements industry has grown into a billion-dollar market. The market size is expected to reach USD 20.73 billion by 2027, growing at 8.2 % yearly. It is no longer a market that is considered exclusively for bodybuilders and elite athletes. You can find supplements practically everywhere including supermarkets, health shops, gyms, or through the internet. Supplement companies are heavily marketing their products, often promising amazing results in a short period. They use top athletes and celebrities as testimonials, making the product appear even more attractive. However, this does not mean that all the promises that these companies are making are true! When advertising their product, they use a lot of technical jargon and hard to read results in their adverts, and cite studies that are often paid by the manufacturers themselves (taking about biased results). This makes it hard for people to figure out if a product is effective or not. What’s worse is that, to date, since supplements are not considered as medicine, there is no entity regulating these supplements to check their effectiveness and whether or not the supplements contain only things on the label or may contain other substances including those banned from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Sports organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have developed multiple policies regarding supplements, and have cautioned athletes against using supplements without prescription from a nutritionist.
Despite this, this does not mean that some supplements can’t help athletes improve their performance. There are many scientific studies showing benefits on performance for specific supplements. By analyzing the research, you can make an informed decision when deciding whether or not you need supplements, and if so, which ones to choose from.
Thanks for reading, and as always stay fit!
Bean, A. (2015). Sports Supplements: Which nutritional supplements really work. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Kannan, S., Naha, A., Singh, R. R., Bansal, P., Nayak, V. C., Goud, S., & Rani, U. (2020). Role of Dietary Supplements in Sports Performance. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 13(12), 6259-6265.