Sports Supplements: A Coaches’ Guide


What Supplements Should I Take?

This is arguably the #1 question I get when I discuss anything nutrition-related with my athletes. I’m sure it’s the same for you, especially when you consider:

  • Over 58% of HS athletes use at least one supplement
  • 75% of the athletes don’t know how much of a particular supplement they are taking or take more than the recommended dose

While there is simply no replacement for a well-balanced diet consisting primarily of single-ingredient foods and un- or minimally processed nutrient sources, many athletes believe they need to take supplements to perform at their best or to get an edge. And they take them without understanding what they are taking, what exactly is in what they are taking, and they take them without discussing it with a professional.

How do athletes ‘know’ what to take?

They rely on the advertisements they see. Athletes are vulnerable by hyped claims.

The dietary supplement market is a 50 billion dollar market. Over a billion of that is directed at specific sport supplements. And you can imagine the tons of dollars that are put into the marketing of these products. The more hype they can create the better. The more pro athletes they can sponsor, the better the supplement looks.

But all of these supplements being marketed are safe right?

You need to take into account that there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specific to dietary supplements that establish a minimum standard of practice for manufacturing of dietary supplements. Also, the FDA does not evaluate the contents or effects of supplements before they are sold.

There are some potentially dangerous supplements out there. There are even ‘safe’ supplements out there that can be tainted during the manufacturing process.

So when you have your athletes ask the frequent question: “what about supplements?”, what should you tell them?

You can just ignore the question and tell them they should worry about eating nutrition whole meals and then hope for the best. Because you know that your athletes are going to take supplements anyway. You know that they are going to jump online or hit the local supplement superstore and grab whatever advertisement or label resonated with them the best.

Your athletes don’t understand: – the ingredient list – the side effects – the dosing

And taking advice from those without knowledge can be dangerous, so…

You owe it to your athletes to have an educated answer to their supplement questions. Because, if not you, then who? And that’s exactly where Sports Supplements: A Coaches’ Guide comes in.

Based on decades of sound science and practical experience, this resource was developed for one reason and one reason alone: to equip the committed coach with the evidence-based facts to provide sound counsel to athletes looking to separate marketing fluff from proven facts.


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