Monday Motivation: The Truth About Sport Performance Supplements

Sport Performance Supplements

In a society where physical size and strength are becoming even more key to an athlete’s success, many professional and amateur athletes look to supplements for help in gaining mass and boosting athletic performance. Several of these substances are safe and aid the body in recovery and healing after intense training and practice sessions; however, it is vital that all athletes verify that the supplements they take are approved by the NCAA and high school sport governing body.



Includes products that help athletes gain weight and muscle mass, as well as nutrition and weight loss products. Examples: protein powder, appetite suppressants, creatine, and vitamins.

It is important to remember that substances are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and, therefore, are not tested for quality and assurance. This means that supplements may include ingredients not listed on the label, some of which may be considered banned substances by the NCAA and high school sport governing body of your state.

For this reason, it is very important to talk to your school athletic trainer and/or doctor before taking any supplement.

Supplements and Drug Testing

When athletes are randomly selected for drug testing, both at the high school and college levels, urine samples are taken and tested for banned substances. The NCAA and your state’s high school sport governing body has a list of ingredients that are not allowed to be present in your blood system, due to their performance enhancing effects.

(Check back on Wednesday for more complete information on legal vs. illegal sport enhancing substances.)

Supplement Side Effects

Each supplement comes with unique, and often, unwanted side effects. Be sure to ask your athletic trainer or doctor about the potential side effects of each supplement, the negative side effects may not be worth the benefits of the product. For example, taking creatine supplements, a product that aids in muscle recovery and growth, can often cause side effects like nausea and muscle cramps. While, side effects will not occur in every case, it is important to understand what you are putting in your body.

For more on this topic, check back Wednesday!


Ohio High School Athletic Association


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