Do Professional Athletes Take Dietary Supplements?

Updated on March 23, 2020

When you’re watching sports events, you might sometimes think – could I be like these professional athletes? It’s a really good question. Stop and think for a while – what does it take to be like one of them? Their body looks perfect, and their endurance and stamina are so impressive. 

But, at the same time, they are exactly the same people as we are. Yet, there are still some differences. Because, when you are in the gym, obviously, practice makes your body stronger, and you look healthier. Does it mean that they only put in much more work, and that’s where the difference comes from? Well, obviously, professional athletes work physically harder than 99% of average people. But, pure hard work is not the only reason for their success.

Is hard work the only thing professional athletes do to be successful?

No, in order to achieve the best results, they pay much attention to their diet. It is as important as workouts and training. They say that “you are what you eat.” This is doubly true when it comes to athletes. Except for the regular diet, they also take dietary supplements. So yes, if you are wondering about it, the majority of athletes do take dietary supplements.

Why are dietary supplements essential for professional sportsmen?

It’s best to understand the comparison. Imagine that you’re doing a sport that you like or you are in the gym. Let’s say that your training lasts 2-3 hours – if you are training diligently, you must be exhausted after that. If you’re inexperienced, then you will surely have muscle sores the next day. And if your body is used to workouts, you will feel a little bit tired the next day anyways.

Professional athletes don’t have any excuses at all. They have only one goal – to win, to be first, to dominate their opponents. In order to do that, they give their best on the training and during the competition. When it comes to average people, we usually do one workout every day, or per 2-3 days. It’s enough to make us feel better and let us enjoy all the benefits that sport brings in our lives. But, professionals do much more. They often train 2-3 times a day, 8 hours total, every day, including weekends. The exercises are exhausting, and they burn a lot of electrolytes, minerals, and water. Professional athlete’s diet is rich in everything they need the most, but it’s still too few to replenish all that they’ve lost during the workout. 

How do they choose the right supplements?

It’s not as easy as it seems. There’s plenty of different supplements, and to be honest, you can never be sure which one is good and which you should avoid. If you ever had to choose dietary supplements, you know that it’s not an easy thing to do. There are websites, for example, The Supplement Reviews, which advise you what supplements are worth taking. 

There’s plenty of companies that offer supplements, and they all claim that their product is the best. Professional athletes don’t have time to check out all of them. According to many dietitians, some products might be good, indeed; however, the majority is simply overrated. 

They don’t provide the benefits that they claim they do, and they cost a lot of money. Obviously, professionals don’t really want to try out all of them, and that’s why they are often supported by a team, which helps them with everything they need. Oftentimes, their success is a result of the hard work of many people, including the trainer, motivational coach, as well as a dietary advisor who takes care of a professional athlete’s diet.

Why do they need help from dietary experts?

Now you know that dietary is of extreme importance in sports. And, a lot of athletes, unfortunately, decide to take a risk and go for an unfair advantage. They are taking supplements and illegal ingredients that are strictly forbidden to use because they provide significant improvement in an athlete’s performance. The difference is so big that athletes who don’t take particular substances don’t have any chance in the competition.

That’s why there are organizations that are regularly examining athletes in order to prevent such illegal actions. Doping in sport existed for a long time, but nowadays, when technology and medicine are so advanced, it finally became possible to track these unethical practices. It’s a sad reality, but nowadays professionals care more about winning and money than fair competition. Hopefully, it will change in the future.

Professional athletes do take dietary supplements so that they can keep up with tens of hard workouts. They rarely decide which supplements they take, though. Usually, there is a dietary expert who takes care of the athlete’s diet and advises them about what they should eat and what to avoid.

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