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Banned Substances Pose Risks for Professional and Everyday Athletes

Athletically banned substances in dietary supplements pose health risks for athletes at every level. Learn the risks and how to avoid them.

You’ve read the headlines about professional athletes having their careers ended or seriously disrupted when a test shows they’ve taken banned substances.

But even if you’re not a pro or a weekend warrior, you should be on the lookout for banned substances because they can be unhealthy for anyone. Our experts share what you need to know about prohibited substances:

Harmful to Your Health

These banned substances may cause kidney and liver damage and raise blood pressure. They can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack, promote the development of tumors, and even impact your mental health.

False Promises

Any supplement promising to miraculously make you bigger or stronger or have greater endurance is probably one you should consider avoiding. This is especially true if they claim it will happen over a short amount of time. That may signal that the supplement you’re using contains steroids or drug-like ingredients that could be harmful to your long-term health.

Buyer Beware

The simplest way to avoid these products is to look for the NSF Certified for Sport® mark on the packaging. We test products in our labs to help ensure that what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle. In conjunction with the World Anti-Doping Agency, NSF Certified for Sport® certification tests supplements for 280 athletically banned substances in our independent laboratories, protecting athletes of all levels.

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