With the news of Ryan Lochtes’ 14 month suspension for IV Vitamin use, the question of supplement use in sports and the wider society once again comes under the microscope.
Dietary and performance supplements in many forms have been common place for a number of years, but over the last few years we have seen an inordinate proliferation of readily available lifestyle interventions and supplements with the supplement industry expected to grow to a $60 billion industry by the year 2021. These are marketed to the wider society in ways that promise anything from weight loss to extreme muscle development, hormone boosters to specific metabolic augmentation, anti-aging to accelerated injury healing. One needs only to visit the nearest shopping mall, website or walk through the “health food’ aisle in the local supermarket to understand the range and variety of supplements and health procedures that are now available to the regular consumer.
So, just how can we be certain that we are investing in methods that can actually benefit our bodies, help us reach our goals and do this in a legal, health conscious manner? And, for athletes, how can we be sure that our immediate sporting future and professional brand, not to mention our long term health and wellbeing, is not being compromised or exploited by so called experts or well meaning mates taking advantage of the desire to win?
DID YOU KNOW... Supplements are one of the leading causes of failed anti-doping tests in Australia with approximately one athlete testing positive every month?
As an athlete the website Globaldro.com provides and invaluable service allowing athletes and support personnel to check the legality of many over the counter and prescription medicines. But, as a general rule: if it's too good to be true, it usually is!!
These are all claims that we have seen in advertising campaigns, but can they really be true? I’m pretty sure that if they were everyone would be using them and they would have been adopted into mainstream medicine a long time ago!! Look for the research and validation in any claims – endorsement by a celebrity is not affirmation of effect….
So, by following these guidelines can we ensure everything we do is correct? Absolutely not.
Simply be aware that there are a huge amount of supplements and health interventions on the marketplace competing for you dollar. As recommended by the Australian Anti-Doping Agency do your supplement and product analysis.
And remember, whatever you take is YOUR responsibility – make an informed and considered choice
(and probably don’t post it on social media!!)