USSA Supplement Classification System
The USSA has examined the supplements commonly used in elite sport and has categorized them according to their effectiveness:
Important: “Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labeling of supplements may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti- doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, and taking a poorly labeled dietary supplement is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.” (WADA, 2009)
These sports foods and supplements have been shown to be beneficial in the scientific literature, however, only when used according to specific protocols. Supplementation should only be done in conjuction with a trained professional such as an accredited dietitian or suitably qualified USSA staff member.
# When used to boost the immune system.
^ Should only be done in consultation with USSA Sports Medicine or medical doctor
Group B supplements are only administered after approval from USSA sport science or medicine department under strict conditions. These includes a supervised study or trial involving placebo/control groups and adequate monitoring of performance or health benefits. If considering taking any supplement in this category, please contact your dedicated USSA sport science or medical staff member to arrange a discussion on the rationale behind your decision. Advice on health and performance monitoring, clinical management plan, possible sources and potential for inadvertant doping risk will be given.
These supplements have very little scientific evidence to support their use. In some cases, they have been shown to decrease performance, therefore are not recommended. There are many other supplements that also belong in this category that are not listed here.