Having a reputable third-party banned substance testing and certification programme is the only way to be sure the supplements you’re taking, or recommending, are safer for use. LGC Science has two such programs: Informed Sport and Informed Choice, which are global quality assurance programmes that test for banned substances within sport supplement products.
Informed Sport and Informed Choice utilise the same testing procedures and technologies. Both programmes test products using ISO 17025 accredited methods. The sporting industry recommends to only use products that have been tested for banned substances using ISO 17025 accredited methods. To coincide with this, both certification programmes include a pre-certification product and manufacturing quality review. They also test for the same banned substances and impurities within sports nutrition supplements. This brings to question, “What is the difference between Informed Sport and Informed Choice?”
Informed Sport was developed in 2008 for the elite sports nutrition industry in conjunction with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). It is the only global third-party testing and certification programme that tests every single batch of a product prior to it being released to market. This programme ensures supplements are examined for substances banned by sporting bodies such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), collegiate organisations and other professional teams. When an elite athlete sees the Informed Sport logo or on-pack descriptor on a product, they can trust each batch of the product has been robustly tested.
Stay informed on the Informed Sport programme.
Established in 2007, Informed Choice is a global retail monitoring and quality assurance programme that helps reduce the risk of impurities and banned substances entering products. All products bearing the Informed Choice logo or on-pack descriptor allow supplement users to know the product has undergone regular rigorous checks and tests. It’s important for any active individual to be mindful of what is in their supplements in order to protect their health. The ingesting of banned substances can lead to severe health effects, or even death, depending on the levels ingested.
Stay updated on the Informed Choice programme.
The key difference between Informed Choice and Informed Sport is the frequency of testing done. Informed Sport certification means every batch/lot of a product is tested before it’s released to market. This means every flavour or variation of a product is tested. Post-certification also includes further assurance through regular blind testing, where the products are purchased from retail and tested again. Athletes can visit informed-sport.com and confirm a batch of a certified product has been tested.
Informed Choice testing is done through monthly blind sampling. This means the LGC laboratory team purchases the product from retail outlets such as brick and mortar stores or websites where it is sold and it is then tested. At least one lot/batch of the product is tested every month, but not all like with Informed Sport. The lots of certified products that have been tested are listed on informed-choice.com.
Informed Sport was specifically created to cater to elite athletes and drug tested personnel, such as the military, subject to strict doping control standards and random drug testing. Their careers are dependent on following these regulations and passing drug exams. Even the smallest amount of contamination in a supplement could spell the end of an athlete’s career, tarnish their reputation and cost them millions in endorsements. With Informed Sport, athletes can minimize the risks often associated with untested supplements and trust they are safer for use.
Informed Choice is a quality assurance programme for the sport nutrition industry and has been designed for those living an active lifestyle who aren’t necessarily subject to the strict doping measures of elite athletes but are still conscious about what goes in their bodies. Informed Choice is a voluntary quality assurance programme for reputable supplement companies so they can ensure products are not contaminated with banned substances and are safer for use. Supplement users can be assured they aren’t subjecting their bodies to banned substances which can often have adverse and harmful effects.
Whether you’re safeguarding your athletic career or protecting your health and well-being, with Informed Choice and Informed Sport you can trust your supplements are being tested the highest of standards.