Ergogenic Aids and the Female Athlete

  • Shannon L. JordanEmail author
  • Fernando Naclerio


Female athletes tend to choose their supplements for different reasons than their male counterparts. Collegiate female athletes report taking supplements “for their health,” to make up for an inadequate diet, or to have more energy. Multivitamins, herbal substances, protein supplements, amino acids, creatine, fat burners/weight-loss products, caffeine, iron, and calcium are the most frequently used products reported by female athletes. Many female athletes are unclear on when to use a protein supplement, how to use it, and different sources of protein (whey, casein, and soy). This chapter addresses essential amino acid and branched chain amino acid supplementation. Along with recommendations for protein supplementation, creatine supplementation is discussed. Not all female athletes are concerned with building muscle. Burning fat is also a major concern for the female athlete. This may result in the athlete turning to products marketed for weight control (i.e., ginseng or ephedra). A product legal for over-the-counter (OTC) sales, however, can be illegal for athletic competition (i.e., ephedra). Competitive athletes should be aware of the banned substance list for their governing body and that OTC products are not currently regulated by the FDA. This lack of regulation can lead to OTC products that are contaminated with banned substances.


Anabolic steroids BCAA Creatine Echinacea Ephedra Ginseng Protein Supplement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of KinesiologyTexas Wesleyan UniversityFt. WorthUSA
  2. 2.Centre of Sport Science and Human PerformanceUniversity of Greenwich, School of ScienceKentUK

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