· 2 min read
While reading labels is important, it doesn’t always provide a complete picture of a product’s contents. Here are four tips for you and your parents:
Absolutely. Participating in organized sports at any level may raise concerns about the possibility of banned substances in supplements. Many news stories have covered athletes who took over-the-counter supplements only to find out later that the products contained a substance not allowed by their sport.
Some supplements may contain banned substances that can potentially disqualify student athletes from competition. Supplements can also contain unhealthy and illegal ingredients. When choosing supplements, be sure to avoid those that:
Even reading a label thoroughly may not provide all the information you need. Dietary supplements do not require FDA approval before they are sold to consumers, so look for products that have been tested under the NSF’s Certified for Sport® program.
Before taking any supplement, check with a licensed dietitian to talk about your health and what supplements you want to take for performance. A dietitian can help assess your dietary needs as well as make sure that there are no risks of interaction between supplements and medication you may be taking.
With the history of adulteration and contamination that has been reported on sport supplements, you need to consider what’s at stake when choosing dietary supplements. Ultimately, as a student athlete, you are solely responsible for anything you take, which is why it is so important to be diligent when looking for certified supplements and deciding which ones are right for you.
To learn more, check out the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Supplement 411 initiative or contact NSF Consumer Information.