1. Are over-the-counter supplements safe?
Over-the-counter supplements might be safe for most people, but can be dangerous if impure, taken improperly, or if used in athletes with underlying medical problems. Since supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, they may be contaminated and put elite athletes that undergo random drug testing at risk for a testing positive on a drug test. This depends on the ingredients and the amount of that ingredient inside specific products. Every product is different, and we can not generalize them into one category.
2. What forms do performance enhancing supplement come in?
They are sold as powders and pills that are taking orally.
3. Where are they found and are they purchased as individual items or are they found in other products?
They can be found by themselves or as ingredients in other products, which is why it is important to always read the food label for the ingredient content. Performance-enhancing supplements are often purchased from the Internet, drug stores, health and vitamin stores, and grocery stores.
4. How can you tell if someone is using a performance-enhancing substance?
It is sometimes harder to tell if someone is using a performance-enhancing substance than it is with anabolic steroids, as the effects are less dramatic. However, a striking increase in performance in a short period of time might be an indication.
5. Are supplements banned by the NCAA?
Refer to the NCAA Banned-Drug Classes document for the complete list of substances banned by the NCAA.
6. What are the short term and long term effects of using supplements?
This truly depends on the specific supplement and dosage of that supplement. There is limited research on the long-term effects of performance enhancing substances, particularly in children and adolescents. Furthermore, research is even more limited on the consumption of multiple performance enhancing substances at once and at high dosages.
7. What are the healthy alternatives to using performance-enhancing substances?
A nutritious and well-balanced diet, adequate rest, and a high quality-conditioning program are healthy alternatives to using performance-enhancing substances.