Checking supplements

The risks of nutritional supplements

Athletes are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.

All athletes are advised to:

  • assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products 
  • assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban

before making a decision to use supplements.

However, supplement risks can be reduced by:

  • undertaking thorough internet research
  • only using batch-tested products
  • checking on Informed-Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been batch tested

Visit the supplements section on the UKAD website for further information including information on the Informed Sport programme, which provides a batch-testing service for supplement products.