The risks of nutritional supplements
Athletes are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.
All athletes are advised to:
- assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products
- assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
- assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban
before making a decision to use supplements.
However, supplement risks can be reduced by:
- undertaking thorough internet research
- only using batch-tested products
- checking on Informed-Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been batch tested