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Meal planning and nutritional supplements use among elite bodybuilders in Taiwan
  1. Margaret Jip Kuo
  1. Department of Leisure and Recreation Management, China University of Technology, Hsin-chu, Taiwan


The interaction between exercise and nutrition is important for bodybuilders. The intake of food during post-exercise recovery is necessary for hypertrophy to occur. Therefore, the current survey was performed to assess information regarding the meal planning and use of such supplements among elite bodybuilders in Taiwan.

Method Thirty-four (26 male and 8 female) bodybuilders completed a questionnaire which conducted to examine the source of information, meal planning and usage of nutritional supplements.

Result All the bodybuilders ingest protein and carbohydrate following exercise to attain a positive protein balance and maximise their skeletal muscle adaptive response. The prevalence of supplement use was 65% and nine different products were used. Female athletes were more likely to take supplements for their health or because of an inadequate diet, while male reported taking supplements to improve strength and power, and for weight and muscle gain. Females were more likely to take calcium, multivitamins and essence of chicken. And males had significant intake for Siberian ginseng, amino acids, glutamine, weight gainers and whey protein. The most frequently used supplements overall were sports drinks (88%), creatine (74%), whey protein (65%), energy drinks (53%), vitamin C (57%), vitamin B complex (62%) and multivitamin (44%). Before using a product, 72% sought information, usually from the media and internet, a store nutritionist, coaches, friends and fellow bodybuilders. However, many did not know where to obtain reliable information and 82% were also unaware that supplementation can have adverse effects.

Conclusion Although the supplement use is common among the bodybuilders in Taiwan, many do not have accurate information about these products. Hence, there is an urgent need to provide athletes nutritional education and scientifically sound guidance by leading sport organisations is required.

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