Are Running Supplements Safe to Use?

For athletes performing at a high level, there will always come a time when the body simply runs out of energy and can’t do the things you want it to anymore. This means that many people look for nutritional advice and other options. Unfortunately we are now exposed to such a huge variety of suggestions it can be hard to work out what might actually be a good idea.

Indeed, it could be suggested that this is what happened to Claire Squires. Tragedy struck in the 2012 London Marathon when the 30-year-old Squires collapsed less than a mile from the finish line. She was a relatively experienced amateur runner who was raising money for the Samaritans. She was healthy and in good shape for the event. But nevertheless, when she hit the wall and needed more energy, she reached for Jack3D, a stimulant she had been recommended to use.

At the time, the sport supplement was entirely legal and no-one gave Squires any reason to think it would be a danger to her health. However, the inquest into her death ruled that DMAA, the amphetamine-like stimulant found in Jack3D caused her to suffer acute cardiac arrest.

One of the most worrying aspects of the case is that many runners and other athletes use supplements like Jack3D every day. As is the case with this drug, often we aren’t entirely sure what the long-term (or even short-term) side effects of using these stimulants can be. We are learning new things all the time.

Interestingly, in an unrelated development five days after Squires death, the US Food and Drug Administration warned that DMAA was known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure and may lead to shortness of breath and tightening in the chest, and lead to a heart attack.

The best advice at the moment is to do as much research as possible, and only take products that are guaranteed as safe by extensive medical testing.

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