(NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook 2011-2012)
Athletes should be concerned about "nutritional" supplements. They are marketed to student-athletes to improve performance, recovery time, and muscle-building capability. Many compounds obtained from specialty "nutrition" stores and from mail-order businesses may not be subject to the strict regulations set by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Such substances are expensive, often ineffective and may be harmful to your health or performance. Additionally, contents of many of these compounds often are not represented accurately on the list of ingredients and may contain impurities or banned substances. Student-athletes should be aware that nutritional supplements are not limited to pills and powders; "energy" drinks that contain stimulants have become popular. Many of these contain large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants, both of which can result in a positive drug test. Student-athletes should be wary of drinks that promise an "energy boost" because they frequently contain banned stimulants. The use of stimulants while exercising can also increase the risk of heat illness. Therefore, student-athletes should consult with the University’s sports medicine staff or other knowledgeable professionals before taking any nutritional supplement. In the NCAA drug testing program, most positive tests involve a nutritional supplement. It is not worth risking your eligibility or health for products that have not been scientifically proven to improve performance and may contain banned substances. The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc., an NCAA consultant, provides a dietary supplement Resource Exchange Center (REC) as a source for institutions. The REC is a confidential resource for student-athletes. It may also be accessed at www.drugfreesport.com (password: ncaa3). You may also contact Drug Free Sport at 877-202-0769.