Several researchers recently collaborated to publish a review article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on dietary supplements in high performance athletics. They noted that dietary supplements can play a small role in an athlete’s nutrition plan and may be beneficial. A key point the article highlighted is that although nutritional supplements can potentially be beneficial, athletes have a lot to consider when deciding whether to add them to their regimen since the decision to do so may involve risk.
Some of these factors include whether the supplement will improve or hinder their performance (directly or indirectly), whether it will be effective for the intended purpose, whether the supplement is necessary, whether the supplement may be contaminated with banned substances, and whether the potential benefits of taking supplements outweigh the risks. Because a considerable amount of knowledge is needed to make an informed choice and to properly integrate the appropriate supplement(s) into an athlete’s nutrition plan, it is highly recommended that high performance athletes consult a physician and nutrition professional before starting supplements.