Informed-Choice is a quality assurance program for sports nutrition products, suppliers to the sports nutrition industry, and supplement manufacturing facilities.
It is a monitoring program that certifies that a supplement product and/or raw material that bears the Informed-Choice logo has been ‘skip-lot’ tested (tested at least on a monthly basis) for banned substances by LGC’s world-class sports anti-doping lab. Supplement users can easily search on Informed-Choice.org to see if their supplement has undergone the certification process.
INFORMED-CHOICE tests supplements and their ingredients for inadvertent contamination with substances prohibited by the armed forces and by sporting bodies.
Anyone choosing to use a supplement should look for the Informed-Choice logo on the product and know that they have undergone appropriate regular testing for banned substances in sport, a key requirement for athletes of all levels.
Why do supplements need to be tested?
Research has shown that up to 1 in 10 supplements sold on the market are contaminated with some form of stimulant or steroid prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Although the contamination may be present at a very low concentration, the levels may be sufficient to generate a positive drug test – in other words, the athlete’s urine sample may show evidence of taking steroids or banned stimulants.
If I don’t see a banned substance on the label, does this mean it’s safe?
This is a common mistake that has been implicated in the suspensions of athletes. Prohibited substances may appear on the label, but under a different name than what’s on the list. It’s therefore important to research each ingredient which can be carried out using your favorite website search engine.
Also, some raw materials may have low levels of naturally occurring steroidal compounds which are found in some herbal ingredients. Its recommended to only use products that have been tested for banned substances through a third party, such as Informed-Choice.
Who is Informed-Choice?
The Informed-Choice certification was established in 2007, by a world-class anti-doping laboratory. It is a voluntary program for reputable supplement companies who wish to register some, or all, of their products and carry the Informed-Choice mark on those products. Seeing the Informed-Choice logo on a product means you can be assured it has undergone rigorous quality assurance checks and monthly testing to ensure that it is not contaminated with banned substances and is safer to use.
How can I find out if my supplements have been tested?
The Informed-Choice website allows users to search for tested supplements by searching by brand name, product type and batch number. The site is also mobile and tablet friendly. The Informed-Choice program currently certifies more than 500 products from around the globe. Visit https://www.informed-choice.org/
The following USN products are certified by Informed-Choice: