The use of dietary supplements is high among athletes and non-athletes alike, as well as able-bodied individuals and those with impairments. However, evidence is lacking in the use of dietary supplements for sport performance in a para-athlete population (e.g., those training for the Paralympics or similar competition). Our objective was to examine the literature regarding evidence for various sport supplements in a para-athlete population. A comprehensive literature search was conducted using PubMed, SPORTDiscus, MedLine, and Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Source. Fifteen studies met our inclusion criteria and were included in our review. Seven varieties of supplements were investigated in the studies reviewed, including caffeine, creatine, buffering agents, fish oil, leucine, and vitamin D. The evidence for each of these supplements remains inconclusive, with varying results between studies. Limitations of research in this area include the heterogeneity of the subjects within the population regarding functionality and impairment. Very few studies included individuals with impairments other than spinal cord injury. Overall, more research is needed to strengthen the evidence for or against supplement use in para-athletes. Future research is also recommended on performance in para-athlete populations with classifiable impairments other than spinal cord injuries.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited