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Fact Sheets on Sports Supplements
Updated On: Feb 28, 2007
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You are here: Home >> AIS >> Sports Science / Sports Medicine >> Sports nutrition >> Supplements >> Classification

AIS Sports Nutrition - AIS Sports Supplement Program

AIS Sports Nutrition

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AIS Supplement Group Classification

In the AIS Sports Supplement Program supplements are classified into four groups according to their effectiveness and safety.

Group A

Supported for use by AIS athletes

antioxidants PDF (62 Kb)
bicarbonate PDF (62 Kb)
caffeine PDF (69 Kb) *
calcium PDF (59 Kb)
creatine PDF (68 Kb)
electrolyte replacement PDF (72 Kb)
glucosamine PDF (60 Kb)
glycerol PDF (58 Kb)
iron PDF (66 Kb)
liquid meal supplements PDF (98 Kb)
multivitamin/mineral PDF (60 Kb)
sick pack PDF (59 Kb)
sports bars PDF (68 Kb)
sports drink PDF (106 Kb)
sports gels PDF (62 Kb)

Group B

Considered for provision to AIS athletes only under a research protocol

colostrum PDF (92 Kb)
glutamine PDF (56 Kb)
HMB PDF (59 Kb)
melatonin PDF (59 Kb) *
probiotics PDF (61 Kb) *
ribose PDF (60 Kb)

Group C

Supplements which have no proof of beneficial effects and are therefore not to be provided to official AIS programs

branched chain amino acids (& other free-from amino acids)
chromium picolinate
coenzyme Q10
cytochrome C
gamma-oryzanol & ferulic acid
nitrous oxide supplements
oxygen boosters (e.g. Oxyshots)
network marketing supplements (e.g. Neways, Nuskin (IDN), Usana, Mannatech, Herbalife, Juice Plus, Noni Juice, Gogi Juice )
rhodiola rosea
vitamin supplements when used in situations other than summarised in Group A

Group D

These supplements are banned

tribulus terrestris & other herbal testosterone supplements

* These supplements are no longer made available to athletes under the AIS Sports Supplement Program

Group A Supplements - Supported for use by AIS athletes

This group includes supplements or sports foods which:

  • provide a useful and timely source of energy and nutrients in the athlete's diet, or
  • have been shown in scientific trials to provide a performance benefit, when used according to a specific protocol in a specific situation in sport

AIS Position on Group A Supplements

  1. We know that athletes and coaches are interested in using supplements to achieve optimal performance. Our 2006 supplement project aims to focus this interest on products and protocols which have documented benefits, by:
    • making these supplements available and accessible to the AIS athletes who will benefit from their appropriate use. In particular, to provide these supplements at limited cost to AIS sports programs, through systems managed by the Sports Nutrition Department
    • providing education to athletes and coaches about the benefits of using these supplements/sports foods and ensuring appropriate use of these supplements, with the emphasis on state of the art sports nutrition
    • providing immediate access to research opportunities to investigate sports-specific protocols for use of performance enhancing supplements and sports foods
  2. We are also aware that it is in the AIS's best interest to have a program that looks to minimise the risk of supplement use leading to an inadvertent doping offence.

Supplement Provision outlines the way Group A supplements are dispensed at the AIS

Provision of Group A and B Supplements Under a Research Protocol outlines how AIS sports scientists conduct research on Group A supplements

Group B Supplements - Considered for provision to AIS athletes only under a research protocol

Group B supplements are products for which there is no substantial proof of health or performance benefits at the current time, but:

  • remain of interest to the AIS because of the background interest of our athletes and coaches
  • are too new to have received adequate scientific attention, or have preliminary data which hints at possible benefits

AIS Position on Group B Supplements

  1. These supplements may be provided to AIS athletes or teams under the following conditions:
    • Supervised study or trial involving placebo/control groups and adequate monitoring of performance or health benefits so that better decisions can be made. Approval has been sought from AIS Ethics Committee to allow immediate set-up of such studies, and the committee should be notified of all projects in progress.
    • Clinical management plan overseen by AIS doctor, including the provision of the supplement to the athlete and adequate monitoring
    • Payment for the supplement may need to come from the budget of the sport, if it cannot be covered within the cost of the research project or from a grant from the manufacturer
    • Consideration of inadvertent doping risks
  2. A goal of these programs is to collect further data to allow Category B supplements to be moved into categories A or C.

Provision of Group A and B Supplements Under a Research Protocol outlines how Group B supplements are dispensed at the AIS

Group C Supplements - Supplements which have no proof of beneficial effects and are therefore not to be provided to official AIS programs

This category includes the majority of supplements and sports products promoted to athletes. These supplements, despite enjoying a cyclical pattern of popularity and widespread use, have not been proven to enhance sports performance or health. In some cases, these supplements have been shown to impair sports performance or health, with a clear mechanism to explain these results. We have named many of the products that belong in this category, but others that have not been named in our supplement system more than likely belong here.

AIS Position on Group C Supplements

  • In the absence of proof of benefits, these supplements will not be provided to AIS athletes from ASC/AIS program budgets or other sources funded by AIS/ASC
  • If an individual athlete or coach wishes to use a supplement from this category, they may do so providing:
    • they are responsible for payment of this supplement
    • any sponsorship arrangements are acknowledged to AIS marketing

Group D Supplements - These supplements should not be used by AIS athletes

These supplements are directly banned under the 2005 WADA Prohibited List or provide a high risk of producing a positive doping outcome.

AIS SSSM can be contacted on: Email: Tel: 02 6214 1253  Fax: 02 6214 1603

Australian Sports Commission, Leverrier Cres, Bruce ACT 2617 PO Box 176, Belconnen ACT 2616 Telephone: +61 02 6214 1111 Facsimile: +61 02 6251 2680
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