Do you find yourself wondering about all the ads in the back of cycling magazines and ads on your favorite web sites about boosting energy, endurance, strength and oxygen levels? I know I have. These advertisements are of course are suspect as far as I am concerned. Why? The Food and Drug Administration does not, I repeat does not regulate the supplement industry like they do the drug industry. Instead dietary supplements are covered under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
What does this mean for consumers/athletes? The FDA covers how they regulate supplements in this comment from their web site: “Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers must make sure that product label information is truthful and not misleading.”
So lets read between the lines regarding the above statement from the FDA. What the FDA is saying is that they will only help the consumer after something has gone wrong! The FDA takes years to ensure that the prescription drugs we take here in the USA have been through years of testing before released to consumers. Case in point the very popular weight loss product that had to be pulled from the shelves due to health problems in their customers attributed to there product.
In the coming weeks I will be answering some of the typical questions about supplements for cycling. I like to cover these types of research articles by covering the Who, what, when, why, where and how questions that we all have about decisions. This being said below you will see the questions I am going to unravel.
What is supplementation?
What are the risks associated with supplements?
When to supplement?
Who should supplement?
How are supplements viewed by the drug agencies?
What supplements to take?