Sports supplements are a category of dietary supplements, concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a dietary or physiological effect, the purpose of which is to supplement the usual diet. They are offered to athletes, sports enthusiasts and active people to improve physical performance in the form of tablets, capsules, powders, drinks and bars.
Many athletes believe that supplements are a necessary component of sports success, and it is believed that most elite athletes use some form of performance-enhancing drugs. An American study among university team athletes found that 65% of them regularly use supplements. At the same time, a similar Canadian study showed that 99% of student athletes regularly or periodically use supplements. The most popular of these are multivitamins, followed by carbohydrate / energy supplements, protein supplements, creatine and caffeine. Ephedrine, androstenedione, glutamine and HMB are also popular among power athletes.
However, the use of supplements is not a prerequisite for the growth of results. All dietary needs can be met through an appropriate diet.
The problem of the” purity ” of additives
Studies show that some sports supplements do not always contain the ingredients indicated on the label; others may include prohibited stimulants or substances.
A 2001 study conducted by a laboratory in Colon accredited by the International Olympic Committee found that 15% of 634 supplements contain banned substances, including Nandrolone. Another study conducted in 2000 at the Olympic Analytical Laboratory at the University of California found that androstenedione of some brands had labels with incorrect information and contained the banned anabolic steroid testosterone. In 2001, Swiss researchers found foreign substances in 7 out of 17 prohormone supplements, in addition to those indicated on the labels, including testosterone, that is, in 41% of samples.
How to evaluate the supplement
Do not trust supplements that promise incredible results. If the manufacturer’s statements sound too good to be true, then most likely these statements are really false.
Be skeptical of ads that contain a lot of technical jargon, unnecessary graphs and cumbersome words. If the information is not clear enough and is not supported by facts, do not honor the supplement with your attention.
Beware of bright ads that are based on “before and after” photos, and not on scientific evidence of the effectiveness of the supplement.
Ask the manufacturer for evidence and / or research supporting the claims about the additive. If such information is not provided, do not contact the supplement.
Make sure that all the proposed evidence is impartial. Ideally, the research should be conducted at the university, published in a respected scientific journal and should be funded not only by the manufacturer.
Do not take supplements that are recommended only in empty words. Make sure for sure what kind of supplement it is and whether it works before you buy it. If you have any questions, consult an expert.