Nonvitamin, Nonmineral Dietary Supplement Use Among Intercollegiate Athletes

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies



Major Advisor

Linda M. Petlichkoff


Greg Mondin


Sara LaRiviere


The use of dietary supplements as ergogenic aids has gained in popularity with the increased emphasis placed on sport performance enhancement. In an effort to understand why this phenomenon has occurred, this study examined nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplement (NVNM) use among intercollegiate athletes. Questionnaires were distributed to athletes on each of the intercollegiate teams (i.e., football, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball, cross-country, golf, track & field, and tennis) at a university in the Northwest. Two hundred twenty-one questionnaires (N=221) were completed resulting in a 99.5% return rate. The questionnaire assessed athletes’ prevalence of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplement use. Specifically, supplement use, reasons for use, and athletes’ sources of information (i.e., where they get information about dietary supplements) was addressed. The findings indicate 64.7% of participants had used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements, while 29.9% indicated they currently use NVNM dietary supplements. Some members from each team reported use of NVNM dietary supplements, with creatine being the most commonly used NVNM dietary supplement. Furthermore, participants indicated reasons for use were related to factors of performance enhancement including, but not limited to, increased strength (22.6%) and muscle mass (19.5%). Participants reported a variety of sources including health professionals (e.g., athletic trainers, 27.5%; physicians, 9.2%) and nonhealth professionals (e.g., friends, 29.5%; salespersons, 9.1%) for information about dietary supplements. The results provide further insight into the use of nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements among intercollegiate athletes. Additionally, such results emphasize the importance of further study on NVNM dietary supplements including their safety and efficacy, as well as their, as well as their future role in athletic performance enhancement.

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