REALIZE: There are risks associated with using supplements
Dietary supplements are risky because they could contain prohibited substances that can cause a positive anti-doping test or ingredients that cause health problems.
This section is designed to help you realize that:
- You can be harmed by supplements
- Laws and regulations cannot always protect you from dangerous products
- Doctors, coaches, and peers may not understand the risks of using supplements and could recommend an unsafe product to you
- Your reliance on dietary supplements may be unnecessary
REALIZE: Athletes’ health and careers can be harmed by supplements
REALIZE: Laws and regulations may not protect you from dangerous supplements because…
REALIZE: Doctors, trainers, coaches, and parents may not understand the risks that supplements pose
Doctors may be unaware of the contamination or quality issues in the supplement industry, and they may not realize that supplements pose anti-doping risks to athletes. Coaches, teammates, parents, and friends also may not have all the facts when it comes to dietary supplements, or they might have other interests in mind influencing their decision to recommend supplements. It is important to realize that someone you trust could unknowingly recommend a dangerous or contaminated product to you.
It’s always important to be an informed consumer, especially when it comes to dietary supplements. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Science Officer Dr. Matt Fedoruk explains why supplements are so risky and how you can minimize the risks of supplement use.
REALIZE: Your reliance on supplements might be unnecessary
Do your assumptions about dietary supplements stand up to scrutiny? Often, supplement companies overstate, and consumers overestimate, the benefits of using supplements. You may believe some of the statements below, but it’s important to realize your expectations may not be realistic:
In conclusion, many athletes believe they must take dietary supplements in order to compete at the best of their abilities; however, it is important to REALIZE that there are real risks and safety issues associated with dietary supplements.
If, at this point an athlete or consumer believes that taking a dietary supplement is still necessary, the next step is to become fully informed about and RECOGNIZE risk when you see it.