Key Banned Substances in Sports Nutrition Supplements


Welcome, PowerAmp Sports Nutrition, to our comprehensive guide on the key banned substances found in sports nutrition supplements. As the demand for performance-enhancing products continues to surge, so does the importance of being vigilant about the ingredients we put into our bodies. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the substances that have raised concerns in the sports community due to their potential to compromise fair play, health, or both.
  1. Anabolic Steroids:
    • Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that mimic the effects of testosterone, promoting muscle growth and enhancing athletic performance.
    • Commonly banned in sports, their use can lead to serious health issues such as liver damage, cardiovascular problems, and hormonal imbalances.
  2. Stimulants:
    • Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that's generally accepted, but excessive amounts can lead to adverse effects.

    • Banned stimulants include substances like ephedrine and amphetamines, which can enhance alertness and energy but pose significant health risks.

  3. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs):
    • SARMs are a group of compounds that selectively stimulate androgen receptors to mimic the effects of traditional anabolic steroids.

    • While marketed as a safer alternative, they have been associated with adverse effects and are banned in many sports organizations.

  4. Peptide Hormones:
    • Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and erythropoietin (EPO) are examples of peptide hormones used to enhance muscle growth and increase red blood cell production, respectively.

    • These substances are often banned due to their potential to provide unfair advantages and cause health issues.

  5. Beta-2 Agonists:
    • Beta-2 agonists like clenbuterol are bronchodilators that can increase aerobic capacity and lean muscle mass.
    • While they have legitimate medical uses, their misuse in sports can lead to performance enhancement and adverse health effects.

  6. Diuretics:
    • Diuretics are often used to achieve rapid weight loss, but they can also be misused to mask the presence of other banned substances.

    • Athletes may use diuretics to manipulate their weight class or dilute urine samples during drug testing.


The Problem:

33 athletes in New Zealand are currently facing bans from their sporting codes for the possession or use of performance– enhancing drugs. Most claim innocence and then blame their coaches or trainers for recommending a supplement, which they then suggest, must have been contaminated with a banned substance. Currently, there is no comprehensive range of sports supplements and hydration products sold in New Zealand designed to meet the specific needs of high performance athletes and are also is tested for the presence of banned substances.
The Solution:
PowerAMP® has developed a comprehensive range, (currently FIVE supplements and ONE hypotonic fluid replacement beverage) focused on the training and competition demands of high performance athletes. PowerAMP® is tested by an independent, WADA1-approved testing laboratory (Informed-Sport; UK). Our formulations are created in New Zealand to the highest GMP standards and also supported by the latest research in sports nutrition. PowerAMP® is the only fully dedicated sports nutrition brand, developed specifically to meet needs of high performance and endurance athletes. 1. WADA means World Anti-Doping Agency.
“The World Anti-Doping Code outlines that each athlete is obliged to ascertain that no banned substance has entered into his organism.” He/she is personally responsible for any banned substances found in his/her sample.
  • Despite the Australian TGA being the toughest regulatory agency in the world, a dietary supplement 2016 survey of sports supplements sold in Australia, found 19% of products to be contaminated with banned substances. .
  • 31% of products did not pass the safety test during a review of 24 different types of protein supplement, carried out in 2010 by ConsumerLab (USA)

  • 44% of the positive doping samples established by the UK Anti-Doping Organization follows the administration of food supplements containing banned ingredients. Biomedical Research 2018; 29 (9): 1953-1955


A 2009 study published in the Journal of Sports Science reported that 85% of elite athletes take at least one dietary supplement each day. The is twice the usage rate for dietary supplement of the general public. R. J. Maughan et al,. Journal of Sports Sciences, 2007; 25(S1): S103 – S113.

Prevalence of supplement use in young, Canadian athletes, aged 11–25 years, is 98%. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015 12:49

As consumers of sports nutrition supplements, it's crucial to stay informed about the ingredients we incorporate into our routines. Always prioritize products from reputable brands that adhere to strict quality control measures and regularly test their formulations for banned substances. Additionally, athletes should be aware of the anti-doping regulations within their respective sports organizations to ensure compliance and fair competition. By making informed choices, we can prioritize both our health and the integrity of the sports we love.