Some ingredients found in dietary supplements marketed for bodybuilding or performance enhancement—such as whey protein, creatine, and caffeine—generally aren’t associated with any serious safety concerns (when used appropriately). However, they still have the potential for side effects. Before you take any dietary supplement, talk to your healthcare provider. You also can read the articles below about some of these ingredients:

However, keep in mind that ingredients in bodybuilding and performance-enhancing supplements vary, and some are potentially problematic. Many have little or no reliable research on their safety, and most studies address only short-term use. And there is essentially no information on the combinations of ingredients found in dietary supplements.

Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified numerous products marketed as bodybuilding or muscle-building dietary supplements that contain hidden active ingredients, including prescription drugs and steroid and steroid-like ingredients. Not only do these ingredients pose serious health risks, they might cause you to pop positive on a drug test. The only way to be sure a product contains only what’s on the label is to look for one that has been evaluated by an independent, third-party organization. For more information, visit FDA’s "Caution: Bodybuilding Products Can be Risky".

For a list of some potentially problematic ingredients to watch out for, visit our web page with DoD-prohibited substances.

 

Updated 26 February 2019

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