In light of the recent Lance Armstrong scandal, banned substances in the sporting world have been at the forefront of the media. The complex doping system run by Armstrong was unprecedented in the world of cycling. But there are other substances being used in sports that people may not even realise the dangers of.
Claire Squires, the 3-year-old woman who died while running London marathon in 2012 was found to have a banned stimulant in her water bottle. At the time, the substance she was taking hadn’t been made illegal so she may have felt the stimulant was safe to take. Jack3d was banned four months after Ms Squires died, due to concerns with a particular ingredient, DMAA (dimethylamylamine). The stimulant had been linked to various side effects, including death, hence the substance being made illegal.
There is a risk when buying new products that they may not be as safe as they are marketed to be. Unlicensed ingredients, particularly those that are new to the market, can cause problems after long-term use that may not be immediately apparent. Sticking to fully-licensed, well-known products that are safe is always the better option when it comes to using exercise aids.
Just because a product is being talked about in the gym, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe to take. People may find ‘wonder products’ on the internet and start seeing results, without really knowing what they’re taking. If something has recently appeared on the market, it’s well worth waiting around for a few months to see if it is properly licensed or whether it gets added to an increasing list of banned substances.
There is a huge range of safe, legal products available, from creatine to amino acids. Opting for one of these could be the difference between life and death. As dramatic as that sounds, using a product that hasn’t been licensed could cost you your life if it turns out to contain dangerous ingredients. One of the benefits of using the more widely-available products on the market is that there are more people who can vouch for them. Being able to speak to several people who have tried and tested them can help you to choose the right product for your individual needs.
Buying from a reputable stockist is a good way to ensure you know what you’re getting. If you’ve spoken to your personal trainer at the gym and they have recommended something, have a look on nutrition websites to see if it’s widely available. Once you’re sure it’s a safe and legalised product, read into the pros and cons of taking it to ensure it’s the right product for you.
Although the internet is a great place to buy these products, you need to be careful where you’re purchasing them from. Unreputable websites that claim amazing, instantaneous results are not the best places to visit for legitimate items. It’s very easy to buy these sorts of products but the effect they have can be fatal. Stick to big-name brands that have a strong, positive reputation to ensure you are only spending your money on safe products.