Medications & Nutrition

Certain drugs can affect nutritional status and may lead to over- or under-nutrition. The table below summarises the major medication-nutrient interactions that may affect older athletes. In summary, nutritional status can be affected by a decrease or increase in appetite, malabsorption of nutrients, stimulation of basal metabolic rate, and changes in the glycemic level of food.

Given the complexity of the drug-nutrient interaction, it is important that the masters athlete work closely with a health professional to maximise both nutrient and drug effectiveness.

Drug Effect Nutrients affected
(eg. Aldactone, Chlotoride, Lasix)
Alterations in renal tubular function Loss of sodium, potassium and magnesium
Antipsycarbohydratetic/ psycarbohydrateactives Disinterest in food Protein and calories intake reduced
Cardiac glycosides
(eg. Digoxin)
Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, disinterest in food Protein and calories intake reduced
(eg. Phenytoin, Dilantin, Phenobarbitone)
Induction of liver enzymes

Reduced absorption of folic acid

Altered vitamin D metabolism

Folic acid

(eg. Aspirin, Voltaren, Nurofen, Orudis)
Gastrointestinal blood loss Iron deficiency
(eg. Prednisone, Prednisolone, Cortisone)
Inhibition of calcium absorption, alterations in glucose metabolism and electrolyte imbalance

Increased excretion of vitamin C

Calcium imbalance (osteoporosis), hyperglycemia, sodium retention and potassium deficiency

Vitamin C

Antacids Decreased absorption of phosphate Phosphate
Tetracycline Increased excretion of vitamin C Vitamin C
Bile acid sequesters Malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, E and K
Mineral oil laxatives
(eg. Agarol)
Inhibition of fat-soluble vitamins absorption

Depletion of Potassium

Vitamins A, D, E and K malabsorption