The Identification of Commonly Used Pharmacological Ergogenic Aids and an Investigation of their Relationship with Gastrointestinal Symptoms


Musab Çağın, Sezen Çimen Polat, Şimal Damla Altınsoy,
Abdüsselam Turgut, Halil Sarol

The use of ergogenic aids by athletes is becoming increasingly common. Although ergogenic aids have positive contributions to the process of increasing performance, they can sometimes have negative effects on the gastrointestinal system. This study aimed to identify the types of commonly used pharmacological ergogenic aids and investigate the relationship between these aids and gastrointestinal symptoms. Our analysis included a total of 100 subject who exercised regularly and used at least one pharmacological ergogenic aid. For each subject, we determined a score on The Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale which consists of 15 questions. To determine the ergogenic aids used by each subject, we used a questionnaire relating to the use of ergogenic aids and featuring five questions. Data were analyzed by one-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) and independent T-tests. Analysis demonstrated that the most commonly used pharmacological ergogenic aid was protein powder and that l-carnitine was used the least. In terms of the incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms, analysis showed that caffeine, creatine, l-carnitine, arginine, protein powder and glutamine were the most frequently used pharmacological ergogenic aids. There was no significant difference in the incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms when compared between the different types of pharmacological ergogenic aids investigated (p>0.05). However, the total gastrointestinal symptom score of subjects using more than one ergogenic auxiliary was significantly lower than that of subjects using only one ergogenic auxiliary (p<0.05). In terms of the relative effects on the gastrointestinal system, we found that all of the pharmacological ergogenic aids tested caused similar levels of discomfort, and that individuals who used more than one pharmacological ergogenic aid experienced fewer gastrointestinal symptoms. In the light of our evaluations, we suggest that consumers of pharmacological ergogenic aids should be develop greater awareness of these products and consume these products more consciously.


Keywords: Exercise, Pharmacological ergogenic aid, Gastrointestinal symptom, Performance, Health

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