BACKGROUND : Amateur cyclists use a wide variety of
supplements and nutritional substances to increase
performance in addition to their training.
OBJECTIVES : The intended nutritional supplement use,
carbohydrate (CHO) use and hydration practices of amateur
cyclists before, during and after endurance cycling were
analysed. Evidence of ignorance regarding the use of sports
supplements and CHO, as well as the disregard of hydration
strategy was hypothesised.
METHODS : Amateur cyclists, of all age and sex groups, were
requested to complete an online survey anonymously on the
2013 Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge website, a few days
before the event.
RESULTS : Responses were received from 2 550 out of 30 640 race
entrants (8%); representing a distribution of 75% males, 25%
females, with the majority between 25 to 45 years old.
Nutritional supplements were used by 59% of respondents,
with 77% dose adherence, and 29% with supplement
ingredient knowledge. Half of the respondents (48%) planned
to carbo-load two-three days before the event, while only five
percent used professional advice to scientifically calculate
their carbo-loading requirements. CHO were consumed by
81% during the event. Hydration preferences during the race were sports drinks (59%) and water (22%); and after the race
45% preferred a sports drink and 40% water. Ingredients,
taste, colour, and temperature were criteria used to choose a
sports drink. Only 18% of respondents knew to use both
colour of urine and thirstiness to determine post-race fluid
CONCLUSION : The authors concluded that amateur cyclists had
insufficient knowledge regarding nutritional supplement
ingredients and usage, CHO requirements and carbo-loading
practices, and hydration strategies before, during and after the