Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Choosing Safe Supplements

Did you start 2012 out with a get healthy outlook? I did! It has been a year since my abdominal surgery and I am trying to get back to some sort of healthy routine. Beside the eating part, it is now time to get some exercise in.  I tried too early after surgery and ended up with an abdominal tear that now looks horrific but my son has motivated me to start slow and keep with it.

I have a ton of friends who try to lose weight by taking supplements, drinking teas and, using dietary pills like hunger suppressants and more.  If you are going to do this, please educate yourself on what you are taking and why it "might" work. Make sure you know what is in it and what the risks if any are.

For more detailed information, you could visit NSF International’s Certified for Sport Program. Through its Certified for Sport® Program, NSF International, an independent public health organization, tests and certifies dietary/nutritional supplements and sports nutrition products to help ensure they are free of athletic banned substances, steroids and unsafe levels of contaminants. In fact, NSF tests and certifies nutritional supplements used by athletes in MLB, NFL, Professional Golf Association (PGA), Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

Products that have been certified by NSF International’s Certified for Sport® bear the following mark and are included on nsfsport.com. A great and recent example of this type of product is the new True Athlete line of products available at the Vitamin Shoppe.  

Choosing Safe Supplements:

  • Outrageous claims. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  If a label says you’ll see faster results than expected as far as building muscle, there’s a good chance the product contains a level of steroids. Another indication that steroids may be present is side effects.  If you start experiencing acne, baldness, and deepening of the voice, chances are there is some level of steroids in the product.

  • Fast results. Building up muscle and improving endurance are things that take time to develop. If you notice an almost immediate change in either of those things, there is a good chance that the supplement has been tainted with steroids.

  • Label warnings.  Adverse effect warnings are commonplace on regulated over-the-counter products. But if the warning label for a sports supplement is extra large in size and lists serious adverse effects—especially for those who are pregnant, have heart disease, or are over a certain age— it could be a reason to think twice.
  • Certification. Looking for certification from an independent third party organization, such as NSF, is one of the best ways to protect yourself from possibly tainted supplements because of the rigorous testing certified products undergo and continue to undergo on an annual basis.
  • The NSF Certified for Sport® program takes certification to NSF/ANSI 173 one step further by including testing for athletic banned substances in individual products, which is particularly important for college and professional athletes.
  • An example of this type of product has become available recently. The Vitamin Shoppe has a suite of products that earned  the NSF Certified for Sport Certification
  • The Vitamin Shoppe is the first retailer to earn NSF Certified for Sport® certification for its True Athlete line of performance nutrition products.
Disclaimer: This information was provided by a third party source for The Vitamin Shoppe.

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