Exercising behavior differences in users and non-users of dietary supplements by sportsmen in Lebanon

Antoine G Farhat, Corine El-Hachem


Introduction: The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of dietary supplement use, types of physical activities, and aims of supplements users and non-users, knowledge about their side effects, and changes reported due to dietary supplements use in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon. Methods: 220 male participants between the ages of 15 and 53 completed a questionnaire on the ingestion of dietary supplements and knowledge about their benefits and side effects. The study population was drawn from seven health and fitness clubs located in the suburbs of Beirut city. Results: Out of the 220 participants, 109 (49.5%) reported taking supplements; protein shakes were the most consumed (49.5%). Participants mainly engaged in strength exercises (56.7%), and users of dietary supplements were found to practice more than non-users. Users of dietary supplements mainly performed physical activity to build muscles while non-user aims were mainly to improve fitness and performance and to lose weight. Participants sought knowledge regarding dietary supplement use from the internet (24.6%), friends (21.1%), or coaches and personal trainers (24.6%), and rarely from licensed dietitians (1.8%). The greatest difference reported after the use of supplements was improved performance and muscle growth (12.8%). Knowledge about supplements was rated to be low and inaccurate, as 57.8% believed supplements have no side effects and 16.5% did not know what the side effects were.  Conclusion: There is limited data on dietary supplement use from males in Beirut, Lebanon.  This study provides data to contribute to the awareness on the use of dietary supplements specific to this population.


physical activity, dietary supplements, exercising behavior

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12922/jshp.v3i4.66


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