Elite Athletes and Nutrition Supplements: Best Practices To Optimize Performance
By: Dana Ryan, Ph.D., M.A., Director of Sport Performance and Education at Herbalife Nutrition
Professional athletes have to perform at their best in every competition: it’s their job. To do so, they have to ensure proper hydration before, during and after trainings while making sure their nutrition is balanced and provides the essential vitamins, proteins and minerals to fuel their physical efforts. To meet such demands, athletes often turn to nutrition supplements.
To help athletes make an educated decision, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Medical and Scientific Commission developed helpful guidelines.The guidelines cover topics such as who is the manufacturer, the level of scientific validation of a product, its known efficacy as well as known adverse reactions. The IOC guidance, also available in an easy to follow infographic, helps professional athletes uphold one of their greatest responsibilities: to protect the integrity of sports competition.
Rigorously tested dietary supplements can aid athletes whose intense training calls for additional hydration and specific nutrients to support and maintain muscle mass. I advise the athletes I work with to incorporate nutrition into their overall training regimen. Sports nutrition is all about putting the right nutrients in your body at the right time – and that begins with a pre-training snack or beverage and ends when you eat your post-workout meal. The specific needs of these elite athletes can be better met if their balanced diet is supported by high-quality nutrition supplements.
Sometimes the consumption of forbidden substances may be done unknowingly, since the market can be vulnerable to products that have not undergone rigorous quality control regulations or fail to thoroughly list all active substances contained. This is of considerable concern for athletes competing at the highest levels.
That is why Herbalife Nutrition is committed to developing nutrition products backed by science that go above and beyond current quality controls and regulations. We follow a comprehensive quality assurance process to ensure that what is on the label is in the product. We also hold an NSF Certified for Sport qualification for every one of our Herbalife24 products. This means:
- Our products do not contain any of approximately 270+ substances banned by major athletic organizations.
- The contents of the supplement actually match what is printed on the label.
- There are no unsafe levels of contaminants in the tested products.
- The product is manufactured at a facility that is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) registered and audited twice annually for quality and safety by NSF International.
Throughout our manufacturing process, rounds of rigorous in-process tests are performed. Every batch of Herbalife24 products is analyzed for substances that are banned by organizations such as the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)*, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)*, the National Football League (NFL)*, and many other professional and amateur sports associations.
These efforts gives our sponsored athletes and teams –such as Heather Jackson, Juan Cuadrado and the LA Galaxy soccer team– and every person that practices sports at any level the confidence that we are not only aware of their needs but committed to help them achieve their goals through nutrition supplements that help them optimize their performance.
*These organizations are not affiliated with and do not endorse Herbalife Nutrition products.