M. HENRÃQUEZ1,2,3, D. ROJAS4, D. BUENO5, F. MUÃ?OZ2,6, M. FERNÃNDEZ3,7, L.F.C. Campos3,8
Introduction: Consumption of nutritional supplements in athletes with disabilities has increased the use due to its popularity, availability, and the need to improve sports performance, responding to the increase in the demand for the different disciplines.
Objective: This study’s objective was to describe the prevalence of the utilization and type of nutritional supplements in Chilean athletes with disabilities and identify the reasons for their use, describing prescription sources according to sport and competitive level.
Methods: 186 athletes with disabilities (n=150 physical disabilities, n=36 visual disabilities, 29.5 ± 9.8 years) recruited from different sports organizations participated and completed an ad hoc questionnaire.
Results: 61.8% of the participants reported having seen a nutritionist and 21.0% declared consuming nutritional supplements. The most frequent prescription source for nutritional supplement use comes from nutritionists/physicians (71.8%), and the most popular were proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and creatine. On the other hand, 74.4% consume nutritional supplements to improve sports performance and optimize body composition, while 61.5% seek to replace meals and compensate for inadequate diets. Finally, athletes of a high competitive level presented a higher frequency in the use of nutritional supplements.
Conclusion: The use of nutritional supplements in Chilean athletes with disabilities is lower than those reported in the literature. Education and individualized evaluation of athletes with disabilities aim to recognize the particularities of specific nutritional demands based on the sports discipline practiced, being essential to a critical view regarding the use and benefits of nutritional supplements in these groups.