Make an Informed Choice on Sports Supplements

As a Performance Dietitian I always have athletes asking about “safe supplements” to take. Athletes are always looking for that performance edge and supplements can certainly offer this. Heightened mental alertness, faster recovery time, quicker reaction time and greater power output are just some of the benefits sport supplements can offer. All of this can certainly be achieved when the right supplements are taken at the right times, in the right doses and paired with the right meals. Beyond these benefits, there`s also something else supplements can offer – a positive drug test for banned substances. So how do you know what’s safe? Where do you even begin?

One of the easiest ways to do this is to start looking at supplements which are Informed-Choice or NSF approved. With many of our athletes undergoing drug testing and the abundance of performance supplements on the market which may carry banned substances, we need to ensure what our athletes are putting into their bodies will maximize performance without the worry of producing a positive test. To assess the quality of the sport supplement, these companies evaluate the following:
• Raw materials and ingredients going into each batch of product
• Facility inspection to ensure and audits to review production processes
• Random market sampling for supplement purity/presence of external contaminants (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, banned substances) – this rigorous process takes samples from production batches and if the supplement passes the laid out standards, then they are approved and make the list of Registered Products.

The next time you are considering taking a sport supplement, take the time to evaluate what you’re purchasing. You simply never know what you may end up putting into your body.

For more information review the websites for Informed Choice and NSF