Football players place great importance on ensuring that they've got the right equipment for the beautiful game. Whether it's finding the perfect pair of boots or the right supplements to help ignite their potential.
Picking the wrong pair of boots only affects your performance for a single game. But choosing the wrong supplements can have serious repercussions for your health and career. As many as one in ten nutritional supplements contain banned ingredients and compounds. Top players have received severe suspensions after using products containing banned substances.
Finding the right sports nutrition products goes beyond finding supplements that will help you up your game. It might seem daunting to players to ensure that supplements are free of any banned substances. To make it easier for players, the sports nutrition industry has a quality assurance programme called Informed Sport. Certified Informed Sports supplements are batch-tested to ensure they follow anti-doping laws within football.
What Is Informed Sport?
Informed Sport is a testing and certification programme for nutritional supplements. They assure footballers and other athletes that products have regularly undergone testing for prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Several sporting bodies recognise Informed Sport, including:
- The Football Association (FA)
- International Football Federation (IFF)
Doping agencies around the world also recognise Its quality assurance programme, such as:
- UK Anti Doping (UKAD)
- International Testing Agency
- Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (INADO)
The Informed Sport programme was started in 2008 by LGC, one of the leading doping control laboratories in the world. Informed Sport exists to work closely with supplement manufacturers and brands to provide high-quality analytical testing. It minimises any risk of product contamination or the use of any banned substances.
WADA will consider adding a substance or method to the prohibited list if it meets two of the following criteria:
- It has the potential to enhance sports performance
- It presents a potential or actual health risk
- It violates the spirit of the sports
The list of banned substances includes:
You can view the complete list of prohibited substances here.
What Is the Informed Sport Certification Process?
All products that are certified by Informed Sport go through a thorough and ongoing certification process. The testing process has four stages:
1. Product and manufacturing review
Before a supplement can be certified, Informed Sport issue a certification agreement. This comes with a programme pack explaining how the process works and how to use the Informed Sport logo when certification is complete. The brand or business applying for certification must provide sample product labels with the Informed Sport logo for approval during this stage.
Informed Sport will then build a comprehensive picture of the product and brand that includes:
- Product branding
- Product integrity
- Retail plan
- Testing schedules
They will review the entire product range to minimise the risk of prohibited substances.
2. Pre-certification sample testing
The applicant brand will provide Informed Sport with a minimum of three finished sports nutrition products. These will go to the LGC testing labs for screening using ISO 17025 accredited banned substance screen.
The LGC laboratory will store one of each supplement that is batch tested. The tested products must show no indication for contamination of banned substances for certification to be approved.
3. Supplement Certification, logo use and listing
Following the first two stages, completion and resolution of any problems that have arisen, the programme certifies the products. They will issue a certificate, and the applicant will be able to use the Informed Sport logo on the product. They will also provide:
- Informed Sport brand guidelines
- A listing of the product on the Informed Sport website
- A link to the applicant’s website
4. Post-certification testing and requirements
After the supplement has been certified, the entire product range, including different flavours, must be submitted for testing before being sold to the public.
Informed Sport will schedule regular blind testing to ensure that the product integrity continues. At the beginning of the process, blind testing will occur between one and four times a year, depending on the number of batches created each year. As a brand establishes a testing history, blind testing will decrease to once a year minimum.
Recognising the Informed Sport Logo
All products that the programme certifies will bear the Informed Sport logo, which looks like this:
The logo is proof that the brand or company that produces that product has volunteered to subject their products to independent testing and certification. Once certified, consumers can be sure that the products they're purchasing are:
- Safe to use
- High quality
Informed Sport and Soccer Supplement
All Soccer Supplement products are batch tested under the Informed Sport program and come with a guarantee that they contain no banned substances. All our products proudly display the Informed Sport Logo on their packaging — Informed Sport list our brand as one of their certified brands.
We always put the players who use our products first, no matter what level they play. Regardless of whether you’re an amateur or a professional, you should never consider putting untested products into your body.