In the ever-changing and evolving world of athletic supplementation, it is becoming increasingly important to properly monitor supplements for fear that they may contain one or more banned substances. Believe it or not, there is a growing awareness for the contents of over the counter and “natural” supplements, as quite a few have been exposed for containing not only banned substances, but also illegal ones. Keeping yourself informed on the current rules and regulations for natural athletic competition is of utmost importance, in addition to paying attention to the contents of your supplement cabinet.
My favorite resource and probably the most widely known is WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. Taken directly from the website (www.wada-ama.org), WADA was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries. WADA is a Swiss private law Foundation. Its seat is in Lausanne, Switzerland, and its headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.
WADA has put together a banned substance list, and this is now available as a smart phone app for quick reference. The app allows you to search for substances alphabetically, by category, and directly by a search feature. A great feature of the app is that is constantly search for updates, so as the rules changes and substances are added, so if the app.
Many competitive organizations adhere to WADA standards, but not all. You may find that one organization will ban a substance or practice where another will not. It is important to check with your organization in any case of doubt. To err on the side of caution, I would personally adhere to WADA standards at all times.
Before deciding to take a new product/supplement, be sure to fully investigate the ingredient list and the purported abilities of the product. Many supplements contain synthetic ingredients that can not only cause you to fail a drug test, but may also be hazardous to your health. A good rule of thumb to follow is to be suspect of any ingredient that begins or ends in a number and has a number of commas, hyphens and –eths and –mines in the name. Also beware any ingredient names that bear a striking resemblance to a banned product. These ingredients are structurally similar to the banned substance with only a slight variation in the makeup to pass doping standards.
For any enthusiast with their ear to the ground in the supplement world, you will undoubtedly have heard the fuss over DMAA or Methylhexanamine, commonly known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine. This ingredient is found in many supplements from pre-workouts to fat burners. Still available in some stores but increasingly difficult to find online, this stimulant found its way to many banned list because of its alleged dangers to your health. Take a close look at the name versus the name found on the WADA list.
I have personally taken DMAA and did so in large quantities for extended periods of time. This came at a time when I was very impressionable and eager to find that quick fix and magic pill that would do all of the work for me. The stim had me hooked and the results kept me coming back for more. Developing a tolerance over time, more and more was needed to achieve the same results and before I knew it I was taking several products with this ingredient and a number of other stimulants. The most common and popular products being USP Labs OxyElite Pro and Jack3d, both of which have now had their formulas revised. Before long I just felt like garbage. I felt lethargic most of the day and experienced light headedness and head rushes/blackouts upon standing and after any sudden movement.
I first learned of WADA through my first competition that was sanctioned by the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation (INBF). A review of their website (www.naturalbodybuilding.com) will detail their commitment to drug free athletics and their strict adherence to WADA standards. You will also find they have a list of failed athletes and they post their pictures in the hall of shame.
Another great resource for keeping up on supplements and the safety (and truth) of the ingredients they contain is www.keepsupplemtsclean.org. This website will keep you up to speed on the FDA’s involvement in the supplement industry and the findings of investigations into certain products. This website identifies specific products which have false labeling and contain illegal ingredients.
I invite you to revisit an earlier article of mine, That’s great Bro, but is it science? This article is more about making well-informed decisions on what you put into your body, but the message is the same; keep yourself informed and do the research!
This article was researched and written by Follow @JAstorina
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