Just a few days ago, you bought your new pre-workout supplement, and already you can’t believe your results! Your strength has gone through the roof and your previous bests now seem laughable. When you step into the gym you feel like a machine. Your energy kicks into overdrive, your muscles pump to new levels, and you become completely focused on the task at hand. Finally, you think to yourself. A product that actually works as well as it claims to!
So how did you score such a powerfully effective supplement? Perhaps it was formulated by a reputable, well-established company – one that’s dedicated to research and only sourcing premium, proven ingredients. Supplement companies like this are few and far between, but they do exist. Their mission is to continually research and develop new products that actually work. Then there’s the other, more sinister explanation for your off-the-chart results. Your supplement might just contain far more than the ingredients listed on the label. In other words, it may have been intentionally spiked with prohormones, anabolic steroids or other banned substances! After all, the more drug-like effects you experience, the quicker you’ll go back for more. And the more you buy, the bigger the profits for the company that’s intentionally spiking your supplement. All this at the expense of your health, safety, and hard-earned cash.
The Business of Bigger Profits
Like most people, you probably assume that only the ingredients listed on a product’s label are included in the formula. It’s just common sense, right? But the supplement industry is highly competitive, and companies are always looking for newer and better ways to grab your attention and win your business. If they were able to offer double or even triple the results provided by the competition, why wouldn’t you buy their product? Unknown to you, however, they’re only able to offer these enhanced results by lacing your supplement with drugs. Not only have you been lied to, but you’ve also just exposed your body to substances you had no intention of exposing it to! If you’re a competitive athlete, there’s even more cause for concern. Imagine unexpectedly failing a doping test, only to later realize it was because your supplement wasn’t as clean as you thought it was!
ConsumerLab.com offers a screening program that tests dietary supplements and other related products for substances that could disqualify athletes from competition. In one of its eye-opening reports, many supplements targeted at professional athletes were found to contain banned substances that weren’t listed on the labels.1 Nearly 1,000 supplements were tested, and the most common unlisted substances were stimulants such as ephedrine and caffeine. The study further showed that one in four supplements lacked some of the claimed ingredients that were on the label. Even more disturbing, contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and manufacturing by-products were present – all of which can remain and build up in your body.
In other cases, a product may become contaminated with banned substances or heavy metals without it being the supplement company’s intention. Say, for example, a supplement company CEO hires a manufacturer to produce his products. The manufacturer goes out and buys used machinery. He has bought this equipment from someone in good faith, but has no idea what materials have run on it before him. Even after being cleaned, stainless steal can hold residual amounts of chemicals and banned substances. So if the previous owner ran illegal substances on the equipment, these substances could now make their way into the manufacturer’s products. He may think, But I’ve never run any pro-hormones in my facility, but that doesn’t matter. Cross-contamination can easily occur in situations like this.
In another scenario, a foreign company manufactures an erectile dysfunction drug like Cialis® in one run, fails to properly clean its machinery, and then runs arginine immediately afterwards. The arginine, which now has traces of Cialis® in it, is shipped to the United States to a manufacturer that doesn’t perform inbound raw material testing. The arginine gets into the customer’s product and the product ends up on store shelves. An unsuspecting athlete purchases the supplement, and later tests positive for drugs. Although he did nothing wrong, he has now become the victim of unintentional spiking.
The Importance of Banned Substance Testing
The only way to ensure that intentionally or unintentionally spiked products don’t make their way onto store shelves is to do the proper testing at the manufacturing level. This includes testing of all incoming raw materials (i.e. from foreign countries) for banned substances, heavy metals, etc. Manufacturers must also test the final product, just in case their equipment has been unknowingly contaminated.
You would think that every supplement company would already be conducting these tests, but that’s far from the case. While the FDA does impose good manufacturing procedures, testing for banned substances isn’t mandatory. It’s also pretty expensive. As a result, many supplement companies skip these tests in order to save money. In doing so, they can launch their products that much sooner in an effort to beat out the competition.
If there’s one supplement company that goes above and beyond what is required by the FDA, it’s Labrada Nutrition. Even though banned substance testing isn’t mandatory, Labrada performs a full steroid and drug panel test on every single batch of product. This is only after every barrel of raw material has been quarantined, identified, and verified before being allowed on the production floor. Every material is then identified, quantified, and tested again during production after mixing and blending. The finished product is again tested for potency, concentration, and microbiological activity. For good measure, a full heavy metal analysis is also conducted.
This all-encompassing testing is done to guarantee you a safe, clean, and effective product every time. How many other supplement companies come even close to this level of compliance? Very few. With Labrada, you’ll always know what you’re getting – research-proven, drug-free products that pass every test.