Safe supplements for workouts
Trying to determine whether a dietary supplement product is safe or not can be difficult. HPRC has produced several resources to assist Warfighters and their families on making informed choices.
From the Field
Many of our sailors are looking for a safe supplement to enhance their workouts. They are looking to get stronger and recover quicker. We cannot evaluate how they are eating to determine how many carbs, proteins, and fats they are taking. Is there a site or product you can recommend to help them find the safest product? They are young and do not like the answer of eating properly. Thanks for any help.
Safe supplements for workouts
It is not always easy to determine whether a dietary supplement product is safe or not. Currently the Department of Defense (DoD) is working on an educational campaign to inform Warfighters and their families about potential health risks and steps to take before using a dietary supplement. DoD has no formal policy on the use of dietary supplements, although there is a committee currently working to establish such a policy on its behalf. HPRC has put together the resource Red Flags: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe and Avoid Fraud. You may also be interested in the HPRC document Dietary Supplement Education for Warfighters, which will soon be available for download in PowerPoint format.
You can learn more on how to make informed decisions about dietary supplements and natural products from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. The HPRC has made this available to all active duty personnel; a “.mil” email address is required to create an account. We encourage consumers of dietary supplements only to consider using products rated eight or above on their rating scale. These are in the green area of the scale and have evidence of safety. Items in the yellow range mean that data are lacking. The red area indicates there are well-known safety concerns and/or proven ineffectiveness. HPRC makes this user-friendly database readily available through links on its website for both Warfighters and healthcare professionals. Choose the appropriate version and follow the instructions to create an account.
Additional information on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements can be found in HPRC’s new Dietary Supplements Classification System. This is an ongoing project, so we encourage you to visit periodically for new information. Again, we encourage consumers to consider using only supplements in the green zone.
Also, you may want to direct your sailors to our Nutrition Resources page, which includes the Warfighter Nutrition Guide where we have helpful and detailed information in the chapter on “Fueling the Human Weapon.” This does review the carbohydrate, protein, and fat needs of the Warfighter. You will also find a helpful chapter on dietary supplements. Under Physical Fitness you will find programs such as the Navy Operational Fueling and Fitness System, which ties together nutrition and fitness.