The use of sports nutrition supplements is widespread at all levels and in all types of sports.
Supplements target various aspects related to health and exercise performance. These
Preventing micronutrient deficiencies
Maintaining immune function
Assisting with body composition changes (e.g. fat loss, muscle gain)
Products claiming to enhance exercise performance line the shelves in most modern
pharmacies. When used appropriately, supplements can be beneficial for health and sports
performance. Unfortunately, the sale and marketing of sports supplements is not well
regulated. It is important for the community pharmacist to discern which supplements may
benefit athletes, which may have no effect at all, and which may cause harm.
Pharmacists should familiarise themselves with the most common ingredients found in
sports supplements. Understanding the function of each ingredient and its potential role in
supporting sports performance is fundamental to advising on suitable sports supplements.
There is much misinformation to contend with when dealing with sports nutrition
supplements. As a pharmacist, you need to be able to recognise which supplements would
be beneficial to an athlete and when and how they should be used.