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How To Know If A Supplement Is Certified By USADA Or Not?

Tainted supplements are a serious problem within the UFC and MMA in general, many supplements turn out to be tainted with substances other than what is listed on their labels.

The USADA-UFC anti-doping program takes this seriously and recommends certified supplements intake for fighters. Now fighters can use supplements that are certified by a ‘third-party program’.

A Third-party program is when an association that is not the supplement company itself (hence, the third-party) assesses a dietary supplement and ensures that it is compliant with USADA’s regulations.

Any positive tests arising from any supplement other than the ones certified by a third-party program could lead to sanctions. The third-party certifiers are:

  • NSF Certified for Sport,
  • Informed Sport Trusted by Sport, 
  • Kölner Liste, 
  • Banned Substance Control Group (BSCG),
  • HASTA (Human and Supplement Testing Australia), 
  • Informed Choice.

Each company lists all its certified supplements online.

However, it is important to note that the third-party certification is only a risk-reduction attempt for athletes since no supplement can be guaranteed to be 100% risk-free.

Supplements are regulated in a post-market sense. A ‘post-market’ means that no regulatory body verifies these products before they are sold to consumers. 

How to recognize high-risk supplements?

The fact that a dietary supplement is in the store shop does not mean it is safe. 

So, you have to do your research because there are some important things you need to check out when purchasing supplements. 

Generally, supplements marketed to help with erectile dysfunction, weight loss, sexual enhancement, or muscle building are the most likely to be contaminated with unapproved pharmaceuticals.

You as a UFC athlete or consumer should also avoid purchasing dietary supplements that have these ingredients:

  • DMAA
  • Alpha-Hydroxy-Laxogenin
  • Andarine
  • Bismuth nitrate
  • N-Methyltyramine
  • Octopamine
  • Sodium tetrachloroaurate
  • Sulbutiamine
  • Higenamine
  • Hordenine.