Informed Sport stands as an authoritative pillar in the athletic supplement industry, leading the way in safer, cleaner, and better sports nutrition.
Whether you’re a professional athlete, fitness enthusiast, or a health-conscious individual, navigating the world of sports supplements can often feel like a precarious task. Fortunately, entities like Informed Sport exist to offer an extra degree of reassurance. Before we dive into what it means to be 'Informed Sport Approved', let's first uncover what the label represents.
Understanding Informed Sport Approved
Informed Sport is a global quality assurance programme for sports nutrition products, supplements, and ingredients. Products that are informed sport certified have been screened for substances banned in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
It is designed to analyse nutritional supplement contents and offer a certification that guarantees their safety and quality for athletes and consumers alike. The program ensures that every batch of a supplement product and/or raw material that carries the Informed Sport logo has been tested for banned substances by LGC (formerly HFL Sport Science), a world-class sports anti-doping lab. LGC has over 50 years of expertise in anti-doping in sport and is a world-renowned sports doping control and research laboratory.
It's important to note that doping agencies around the world recognise the quality assurance program of the organization. Some of these agencies include the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), International Testing Agency, and Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (INADO).
For athletes, this certification means they can choose a product that is safer, ethical, and less likely to contain potential contaminants that could harm their performance or health.
Is Being Informed Sport Approved Important?
Absolutely. According to Informed Sport, as many as one in ten sports supplements may end up containing a banned substance. Athletes and active individuals who prioritise their wellness understand that supplement safety is not just an option, but a necessity. Here's why it's important:
- Safety: Third-party testing ensures that the products you consume are free from harmful substances, contaminants, and indeed any banned substances. This is particularly crucial for athletes who may be tested for doping.
- Quality Assurance: Certification programs like Informed Sport also verify formulation and label claims for each batch of a product. This means what is on the label is actually in the product.
- Peace of Mind: For athletes, trainers, and coaches, the knowledge that a supplement is tested and approved gives peace of mind. You're less likely to have issues with performance, doping tests, and you know you're providing your body with safe, high-quality nutrients.
How Informed Sport Certification Ensures Product Safety and Quality
The Informed Sport programme doesn't just test a product once, and then give it a stamp of approval. There's much more to it than that.
- Manufacturers need to apply and be accepted into the programme based on specific quality standards.
- Every single batch of the product is then tested for banned substances before it can carry the Informed Sport logo.
- In addition, the manufacturing facility and its processes are audited to ensure best practices.
By following this stringent testing and approval process, Informed Sport-certified supplements can confidently be consumed by athletes and fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
The Potential Risks of Using Unverified Supplements
Choosing sports supplements without the Informed Sport stamp of approval could lead to inadvertent consumption of substances detrimental to your health, or even banned in professional sports. Here are some risks involved:
- Unknown substances may cause adverse health effects.
- Unverified supplements can lead to a positive doping test result.
- Quality may be compromised, leading to ineffective products.
These potential risks underscore the sheer importance of choosing products that have been tested and certified by robust third-party programmes such as Informed Sport. It's not just a logo. It's a commitment to quality, safety and integrity.
Demystifying Myths About Certification and Doping in Sports
When it comes to sports supplements and nutrition, there is no shortage of myths and misconceptions. It's important to understand the facts so that you can make informed decisions about your health and performance. Let’s debunk a few common myths:
Myth 1: All sports supplements are safe because they're 'natural'
'Natural' does not necessarily mean safe or effective. Many sports supplements contain ingredients sourced from nature, yet they can be harmful or produce no beneficial effect. The key is not whether an ingredient is natural or synthetic, but rather its safety, quality and effectiveness, which are ensured by rigorous third-party testing such as the Informed Sport programme.
Myth 2: All supplement labels accurately list what's in them
While we’d like to believe this is always the case, it’s unfortunately not true. Supplement labels may not always accurately reflect what's in the product. Some manufacturers may add unlisted ingredients or fail to disclose the full quantity of a listed ingredient. This is where Informed Sport approval becomes crucial. It serves as an assurance that what's on the label is indeed in the product.
Myth 3: Supplements always deliver the promised benefits
Again, this is not always true. The efficacy of a supplement depends on the quality and quantity of its ingredients, as well as how those ingredients interact with your body. Informed Sport testing verifies that the ingredients listed are present in the specified amounts, contributing to the overall efficacy of the supplement.
Informed Sport certification is a crucial tool to bust these myths and ensure the quality, safety, and transparency of sports supplements. Stick to the facts and stay safe on your fitness journey.
Tips For Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: Choosing Safe and Effective Supplements
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you've likely come across a vast array of sports supplements, each touting the ability to enhance your performance, build muscle, or expedite recovery. However, it's crucial to take a discerning eye when picking these aids, emphasising safety and effectiveness. Here are a few simple, yet practical guidelines to follow:
- Do Your Research: Don't just rely on advertising claims or flashy packaging. Do your homework to find out what ingredients a supplement contains and verify whether these ingredients have been clinically proven to provide the benefits that the product claims. An excellent place to start is the supplement's website or online reviews.
- Check for Third-Party Testing: Third-party testing is an independent check that verifies a supplement's quality/safety and verifies that what's on the label is indeed in the product. One such reputable third-party tester, Informed Sport, even tests for over 200 substances identified as posing a high risk to sports professionals. They offer a searchable database on their website where you can verify if a product has been certified.
- Look for Informed Sport Certification: As mentioned above, an excellent feature to look for when picking a sports supplement is the Informed Sport certification. Supplements with this mark of quality signify they have been thoroughly tested to ensure quality, safety, and the absence of banned substances detrimental to your health or sports performance.
- Avoid Prohibited Substances: Some supplements may contain ingredients that have been banned from sports due to potential health risks or performance-enhancing effects. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) maintains an up-to-date list of these prohibited substances.
- Consult a healthcare or fitness professional: When in doubt, always seek professional advice. They can provide recommendations based on your personal needs and goals.
I'm not an elite athlete, can I benefit from Informed Sport products?
Yes, anyone who uses sports nutrition products can benefit! From professional athletes to everyday users, you can have peace of mind knowing that the supplements you are taking have been thoroughly screened for a variety of prohibited substances.
Informed Sport and Whole Supp
We're proud that each of our products is batch-tested under the Informed Sport program, giving you peace of mind that it's free of WADA-banned substances. Athletes can be confident that Whole Supp products are safe, contaminant-free, and high-quality.
Dec 04, 2023• Posted by Darren O’Reilly