Nutrition Advent Calendar - Day 19

Informed Sport - Safeguarding Athletes from Inadvertent Doping

Have you got a fancy sports nutrition supplement on your Christmas list? Read this first...

The sports nutrition supplementation is a multi billion pound industry with thousands of products available to athletes and the general public, designed to enhance sports performance, body composition and health.

Supplements can have a place in sports nutrition to enhance performance, however they should be used to 'supplement' a diet that may not fully meet nutritional requirements e.g. protein intake, and used for convenience e.g. after training.

The main issue with the use of supplements is its safety for athletes. Professional athletes are tested regularly by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ensure they are free from any prohibited substances and are competing with the interest of clean sport participation.

“44% of UK Anti-Doping positive tests in the 2012 testing year were caused by prohibited substances contained in supplements”

Athletes are solely responsible for what goes into their body and if found to have a contaminated blood or urine sample, regardless of the intent, fault, negligence or knowing use of taking it, will have committed an anti-doping rule violation.

Informed Sport is a quality assurance programme that certifies that every batch of a supplement product and/or raw material has been tested for banned substances by LGC's world-class sports anti-doping laboratory.

If you're a competitive athlete (at any level) or supporting an athlete:

 Look at your diet FIRST - can you get it through food?
 Remember there is no '100% guarantee' that a product does not contain ANY banned substance
 This includes ANY supplement (sports performance, health, weight loss/gain)
 Undertaken due diligence
1. Assess the need (i.e. is the gap in performance nutrition related?)
2. Assess the risk (is it batch-tested, is it on Informed-Sport website?)
3. Assess the consequences (4yr ban, financial impact/loss of sponsors, damaged reputation, impact on friends and family)
 Consult a registered Sports Nutritionist (SENr)

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