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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary A. Sforzo, PhD (Ithaca College)
Description: This is a thorough review of the literature related to using dietary supplements for ergogenic purposes. It is unique in that in many instances the author(s) is willing to speculate past available data and provide a "best" recommendation based on existing information for a particular supplement.
Purpose: The purpose is to bridge the gap between supplement science and application to athletes. This is a noble objective and it is theoretically accomplished in several instances. In some chapters of this edited volume, however, authors are unwilling to speculate too far given the available inconclusive data. In these instances, they do not (or cannot) provide clearly applicable advice.
Audience: This book is successfully written at a level for academicians and graduate students. It would difficult for the typical undergraduate major and probably too sophisticated for all but the most informed coach or athlete. This is curious given that the objective of the book is to facilitate application. Academicians and clinicians, however, should find the book a valuable addition to their libraries. Therefore, the authors successfully reached many in their stated target audience. Such professionals should be able to interpret this information and then nicely help their students or clients understand the sometimes baffling world of dietary supplements as related to exercise performance.
Features: This is an excellent reference for hot topics such as supplementation with creatine, whey protein, glutamine, chromium, ephedrine, androstenedione, and many others. Supplement use is discussed with regard to both endurance and resistive type exercise. Most impressive about the coverage is how completely each topic is addressed and referenced. However, as the editors predict in the foreword, information on such hot topics is dated before a book can get to press. Nevertheless, the breadth of coverage, plus the depth of review that characterizes most issues through 1999, makes the book a valuable resource.
Assessment: This book provides complete coverage of a wide range of topics related to dietary supplementation and exercise performance. It is great reading for academicians and clinicians who are always being challenged by their students and clients to explain the greatest and latest ergogenic aids. With this resource many reasonable answers to these questions can be found in one place. The book's best asset is that it accurately summarizes the many topics in this area and, though many recommendations are made, readers are still able to make a fair assessment of the available literature (to 1999) on their own.