Dietary supplement use in younger and older men exercising at gyms in Cape Town

Marjanne Senekal, Shelly Meltzer, Anri Horne, Nicole C.G. Abrey, Lauren Papenfus, Stefan van der Merwe, Norman J. Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Compare dietary supplement use and associated factors between younger and older men exercising at gyms (Cape Town). Design: Cross-sectional comparative study (self-administered questionnaire). Setting: Younger (21–31 years) and older (≥ 45) men exercising at gyms (Cape Town). Subjects: 210 younger and 91 older men. Outcome measures: Supplement use (frequency, reason, effectiveness, information sources, label use) and gym exercise profile and goals. Results: 80.6% younger and 81.3% older men had used supplements in the past 6 months. Younger men were more likely to use energy drinks (50% vs. 29.7%; p = 0.014), protein bars (18.1% vs. 7.7%; p = 0.038), protein powders (50% vs. 8.8%; p < 0.001), amino acids (15.2% vs. 2.2%; p = 0.004), weight gainers (10.9 vs. 1.1%; p = 0.011), recovery drinks (13.8 vs. 6.6%; p = 0.026), creatine (34.3 vs. 4.4%; p < 0.001), glutamine (22.4 vs. 7.7%; p = 0.004), arginine (8.6 vs. 0%; p = 0.016), pre-train (11.9 vs. 3.3%; p = 0.04) and fat burner (11.4 vs. 0%; p = 0.004). Multi-vitamins, vitamin C and B vitamins were consumed by both groups. Younger men spent more hours/week exercising in a gym (6.1 ± 4.0 vs. 4.0 ± 1.7; p < 0.001) and doing strength exercises (4.0 ± 2.9 vs. 1.6 ± 1.2; p < 0.001). The main exercising goal was building muscle/strength (38.8%), to stay fit (21.8%) or to look good (15.5%) for younger men and to stay fit (41.6%) or healthy (41.6%) for older men (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Younger and older men exercising in select gyms in Cape Town use a variety of supplements. Supplement use and exercising by younger men seem to focus on muscle building/strength and fitness; that of older men on improvement of fitness and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • dietary supplements
  • ergogenic aids
  • exercise
  • gym

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