According to a Council of Responsible Nutrition's consumer survey, approximately 77% of US adults, some 252 million people, take a form of dietary supplement.
If you think that's high, consider this.
The percentage of supplement takers is even higher in the sporting world. A study revealing more than 82 percent of athletes take 1-2 sporting or dietary supplements daily and 62 percent take 3-4 supplements daily.
All of this occurring under quite loose regulations.
How is that possible?
Well, supplements aren't considered pharmaceutical drugs and, therefore, aren't subject to the same strict and rigorous testing.
This is kind of scary when you think about it as the sporting supplement industry is expected to hit some $16.7B USD by the end of 2021. That's a huge amount of product that could potentially do harm to a professional athlete's career and their health in general.
So how can you be sure that some dodgy supplement product isn't tainted with harmful ingredients or prohibited substances?
Well, that's where a third-party certification program comes in.
A certification program like NSF.
The Importance of Third-Party Banned Substance Testing
Unfortunately, we've seen it all happen before.
From football players, to UFC fighters, to long-distance runners, many professional or elite athletes have fallen victim to the unintentional consumption of a sports supplement containing a banned substance.
Possibly scarier still, some sports substances have been found to contain highly dangerous ingredients.
I know, it sounds dramatic.
But for real, comprehensive lab testing has shown some supplements contain heavy metals, PCBs (highly toxic industrial compounds known as polychlorinated biphenyls), dangerous artificial colors, and other harmful ingredients that, of course, no athlete would take intentionally.
So what can be done to stop athletic banned substances from being administered or consumed by well-meaning elite athletes or sporting enthusiasts?
With the use of a certification program like NSF international product certification.
NSF International Certified for Sport’s testing program strives to ensure sports supplements, dietary supplements, and other sports nutrition products do not contain athletic banned substances or other harmful ingredients that are prohibited by many major athletic organizations.
NSF International product certification was developed to combat the potential of harmful products. Products that are used by the growing demand of many athletes, coaches, and sports nutrition experts that use or recommend these products to promote peak athletic performance and a healthy lifestyle.
The Objective of NSF Certification
NSF's certified independent testing and certification program aims to minimize the risk that a sports nutrition product or dietary supplement contains undesirable ingredients. This is achieved by:
- Comprehensive lab testing for dangerous ingredients and athletic banned substances
- Label and formulation reviews to ensure product integrity and transparency
- Inspections of supplier production facilities
- And, ongoing monitoring and banned substance testing
Which Dangerous Ingredients and Prohibited Substances are Targeted?
NSF certification targets a range of different ingredients and contaminants recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Football League Players Association, as well as other sporting major athletic organizations.
NSF Certified tests for up to 280 different substances including narcotics, anabolic steroids, stimulants, diuretics, beta-2-agonists (an anabolic performance-enhancing drugs used in asthma medications), masking agents (used to hide the presence of drugs in urine samples), and unsafe levels of many other contaminated substances.
NSF's certification is so widely trusted and respected by the MLB, NHL, and CFL clubs. The companies’ health experts are only permitted to provide and recommend products to their athletes that are Certified for Sport. And the players themselves are urged to only use these certified products.
NSF Certified for Sport certified products are also recommended to their athletes and sporting experts by the NFL, PGA, LPGA, Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association, as well as many other major athletic organizations.
How to Ensure Sports Supplements are NSF Certified
To be absolutely sure a sports supplement you are thinking of integrating into your diet is certified and safe for consumption, NSF has a complete database designed specifically to ensure athletes aren't taking contaminated substances.
All athletes have to do is jump onto the NSF website, enter the product in question's name, hit search, and NSF will do all the heavy lifting for them. Their database will return results on any sports product that’s entered, detail its safety, and even give a breakdown of the product's dietary supplement raw ingredients.
Where Can NSF Certified Products Be Purchased?
Right here, of course!
Check out our huge range of sporting nutrient and supplements collection where you'll find everything from BCAA products, whey protein isolates, essential plant-based proteins, plus a whole ton of essential vitamin options and nutritional supplements.
Shy of just a few items, all of our supplements and nutritional products are NSF certified and ready to take your athletic and sporting performance to the next level.
Popular NSF Certified Products