Supplement Information for Athletes
Let’s Discuss Supplement Use
Supplement information for athletes is provided in an effort to help athletes make informed choices about dietary supplements and give them direction on safe and responsible supplement use. With the proper supplement information, athletes can avoid performance-enhancing drugs that can hide in supplement products.
Sport drug-testing programs hold athletes strictly liable for any prohibited substance that is found during a drug test. The athlete is responsible no matter how a banned substance makes its way into the body. Athletes must take great care to ensure that what they eat and ingest will not put them in jeopardy of a positive drug test. Dietary supplement information for athletes is especially important to consider. Anti-doping agencies and sport leagues commonly provide supplement information to athletes that includes warnings like the following:
“The use of dietary supplements is not recommended or encouraged as such products can lead to positive drug tests or other health concerns. Athletes are strictly responsible for anything found on a drug test and take supplements at their own risk.”
BSCG Certified Drug Free® Supplements
When thinking of taking a supplement, athletes should look beyond manufacturers’ product labels to learn if it has been certified by a reputable third party. Testing and certification help to show the product in question does not contain hidden substances that could lead to a positive drug test. The Catlin-led BSCG Certified Drug Free® and related programs are considered the Gold Standard in the industry. BSCG’s testing menu, which is focused on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) Prohibited List, is the most comprehensive in the industry, covering over 272 drugs banned in sport, more than any other such program. The WADA Prohibited List is used a model for most other sporting groups in defining their testing menus. As a result, BSCG Certified Drug Free® dietary supplements comply with all major sport drug-testing programs including the NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, NBA, PGA, LPGA, NCAA, NASCAR, ATP, WTA, UFC, CrossFit, NASCAR and others. Visit our Certified Drug Free® database.
Our Athlete Assurance Program offers a customized testing solution to athletes, teams or leagues who want to ensure their regimen is free of drugs or contaminants prior to use.
Athlete Nutrition, Training and Safe Responsible Supplement Use
The key to athletic success begins with dedication to proper training and nutrition. Most athletes can achieve the bulk of their nutritional needs by eating a healthy and varied diet. That said, athletes are constantly challenging their bodies and pushing themselves to the brink and that brings with it the consideration of dietary supplements for things like hydration, to support protein or carbohydrate levels, maximize key nutrients and elements or other supportive needs. Learning proper supplement information for athletes is key. According to research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 73% of Olympic athletes use dietary supplements. If athletes elect to use dietary supplements, safe and responsible consumption is vital.
Do Your Research And Be Vigilant About Certain Supplements
We encourage athletes to do their research on any dietary supplement they intend to use to satisfy themselves that there is proper science behind the product claims. Examining supplement information can be challenging for athletes but is of utmost importance. Be particularly cautious when considering muscle building, male performance, pre-workout or weight loss products, as these products have a greater risk of being contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs or powerful new designer drugs that could be banned in sport. Always consult your doctors or qualified nutritionists, trainers or other personnel before considering the use of supplements.
We are always willing and able to provide further guidance and information about supplements to athletes. Call us toll-free at 1-800-920-6605 or e-mail email@example.com anytime.
Sport Leagues and Dietary Supplements
Some sport authorities suggest that athletes should take a hard line and not consume dietary supplements. But with studies showing dietary-supplement use growing, even among non-competitive adults,* such an approach is now seen by many as unrealistic. It also fails to acknowledge that many manufacturers of dietary supplements are responsible, honest, and legitimately concerned about making reputable products.
We recommend that sporting organizations educate athletes about the risks of supplement use but also inform them about supplement certification programs like ours so athletes know where to find reputable certified supplements. Although we greatly appreciate endorsement of our program by sport leagues, we do not actually advocate that approach as it creates unnecessary conflicts of interest.
Our recommendation to sporting authorities and other groups is to recognize the protection programs like ours offer and include them in educational materials and supplement information for athletes, trainers, and coaches. A simple message such as the following, added to the traditional anti-doping stance, would offer a perspective athletes can use to protect themselves while reinforcing an appropriately cautionary position.
“If athletes elect to use supplements despite the inherent risks, please consider products that have been tested or certified to mitigate the risks. BSCG Certified Drug Free®, NSF Certified for Sport®, and Informed Sport/Informed Choice offer supplement certification programs that test products for banned substances in sport and include other quality control elements. The USP Verified program and ConsumerLabs.com also offer services focused on the integrity and quality of supplement products.”
Click here for our third-party dietary supplement certification comparison.
*According to a 2013 study from the National Marketing Institute, supplement usage among U.S. adults increased from 62 percent in 2009 to 73 percent in 2013.