Sports/energy drinks consumption among young athletes in Kano, Nigeria
Little is known about the prevalence and motives of sport drinks use among adolescents and young adult athletes who exercise on regular basis in most football and other games pitches. Therefore, the current study was performed to assess information regarding the use of sport drinks among 440 athletes (23.5±4.62 years of age) in Kano Nigeria. Data were collected using a selfadministered, structured and pretested questionnaire. The results indicated that the frequency of sport drinks consumption was higher among male athletes and in those who did not have breakfast on a regular basis, ever smoked cigarettes and drank alcoholic beverages compared with their female counterparts. Athletes who had ‘ever’ tried a sport drink were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those who had ‘never’ tasted the drink. Main reasons for using such drinks for regular users varied across the selected groups of athletes and included obtaining energy and boosting performance while doing sport. Most athletes claimed to be aware of the ingredients of sport drinks or their potential hazardous health effects, and that they could distinguish between sport and energy drinks. This study discovered that energy drinks were consumed by the athletes rather than sport drinks and that sport drinks are still alien to the study community as they are not commonly available in the market. This stands in strong contrast to the assumption that athletes consumed sport drinks. Therefore, increased awareness among the athletes of the discrepancies, ingredients and potential health hazards of both sport and energy drinks should be sustained.
Keywords: Sport drinks, consumption, adolescents, young adults, athletes