Cite this article

NIDA. (2013, September 24). Sports Supplements: Not a Safe “Quick Fix”. Retrieved from

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Sara Bellum
September 24 2013

When yuo're working out or playing sports, you may feel like you want to up your game. There are lots of sports products out there that claim to help you run faster, be stronger, or play longer—but be careful.

It’s important to make sure any sports supplement or “vitamin” you want to take is safe. The ingredients in sports products are not required to meet the same high standards as medications. This means it’s up to you to find out what’s in any pills, drinks, or powders before you take them.

Know What You Put in Your Body

In July, USPlabs, a maker of several sports products, destroyed $8 million worth of its sports supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, after the Government said the two products might be dangerous. These two products had the stimulant dimethylamylamine (DMAA), which the Government warns can cause heart problems like shortness of breath and heart attacks. Stimulants are drugs that increase your energy and speed up your body.

In 2011, two U.S. soldiers may have died after using Jack3d. The Government is still trying to find out if that is true. The military has removed all products with DMAA from military bases to be safe.

But that’s not all.

  • Companies claim DMAA is a natural ingredient, but researchers believe it is made in chemistry labs and added to supplements.
  • In 2010, the World Anti-Doping Agency banned DMAA.
  • As of April 2013, the Government had 86 reports of illness and death related to DMAA.

Do Your Research

If you are thinking about taking a sports product, do more than just read the label. Look into the ingredients and all the effects they may have on your body. Ask your coach if he or she knows anything about the product. A healthy body is the best body, so make sure you know what you are taking and that it is right for you.

There’s no magic pill that will make you a better athlete—only hard work can do that.

Tell us, how do you improve your performance without using pills, drinks, or powders? Share by commenting on this post.