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Prevalence of nutritional supplements in gyms
  1. Arvind Malik1,
  2. Sonia Malik2
  1. 1Department of Physical Education, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India
  2. 2Arya Girls College, Shabad, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India


The abuse of all types of supplements to improve sport performance and physical fitness has spread to regularly gym users. The most appealing supplements are those that claim to help build muscle, improve endurance and reduce body fat. The aim of this study to evaluate the intake of nutritional and dietary supplements among males from four gyms in Kurukshetra, Haryana (India). Two hundred and seventy-three users of above 16 years completed a self-administered questionnaire that had been pilot-tested to ensure clarity and to eliminate open-ended questions. Out of total sample 63.8% had used 14 different supplements in past 6 months with each individual consuming a mean of 2.6 (range 1–6) supplements. The most commonly used supplements were glucose (36.9%), multivitamins (32.8%), calcium tablets (20.2%), protein powder (20.4%) and ayurvedic medicines (15.7%). Coaches/instructors, friends and gym fallow were the major source of information for these supplements and 91.2% were unaware that supplementation can have adverse effects. The majority (97.4%) did not report any adverse effects whereas male (16–25 years) were buying anabolic steroids and cheaper alternatives of viagra (sildenafil citrate) without any medical prescriptions quite frequently from medicines stores. The prevalence of supplement use in gyms is very high and the knowledge about these products among the users is not adequate. Hence, there is an urgent need to educate the users about these products and all latest scientific information should be provided to the users and their trainer.

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