Are supplements all hype? Do they deliver what is promised?
Click on each reason to learn more about why athletes may choose to use supplements.
Supplement manufacturers may advertise that their products provide advanced nutrition. Challenge: Eating a proper and balanced diet that contains natural foods should provide the nutrients needed to fuel the body. Supplements containing stimulants and hormones, for example, are not nutritional requirements.
Athletes may assume that if a supplement is labeled as ‘doctor-approved’ or its use has been suggested by a health professional, it is safe. Challenge: Supplements labeled as ‘doctor-approved’ could be false advertising claims. While recommending a supplement, a health professional may not be aware of the anti-doping consequences of the product.
A coach, parent, or friend could pressure the athlete into using a supplement. Challenge: Often times, coaches, parents, or friends, may not have accurate information on the particular product or the general risks of using supplements.
There may be a perception that competitors are using supplements to gain a competitive advantage. Challenge: Not all athletes are using supplements and there is little scientific evidence that supplements alone provide a competitive advantage.