What is the Informed-Sport program?
All the OG Grenade® fans out there will probably know that many of our products are certified by the Informed-Sport program. But what actually is Informed-Sport and how does it benefit you? Good question!
We caught up with LGC’s Business Development Manager Ross Austen, who gave us the lowdown on all things Informed-Sport, from how the products are tested to who can benefit from the program.
What is Informed-Sport?
"LGC has been testing sports nutrition products for 19 years. The screen was initially launched in the early 2000’s after a number of high-profile sporting individuals failed drug tests due to inadvertently consuming banned substances in their supplements.
After this, the industry was keen to provide appropriate assurances to athletes and to manage inadvertent doping. At the beginning, the concept was an ad hoc testing service where brands tested at their desired frequency. Over the years, it was clear that the industry wanted a logo to confirm testing had been performed on certain products – this is when the Informed-Sport program was established back in 2008 and, this year, the program celebrates its eleventh birthday.
Informed-Sport has been developed to be recognised as the highest benchmark in banned substance testing globally, managing the risk of inadvertent doping for elite athletes and drug tested personnel.
Talk us through the testing process - what happens?
First is the certification process. LGC will test up to five samples (including a minimum of three from a commercial batch) and perform an assessment on the manufacture’s quality control procedures via a Manufacturing Assessment Questionnaire (MAQ). This is to ensure the manufacture meets our standards and the risk of cross contamination is managed within the production facility. Only when the testing and successful review has been completed is the product certified on the Informed-Sport programme. The product then moves onto post certification testing.
After this, every production batch of the product is tested prior to release into the market. All batches are listed on the Informed-Sport website so athletes and consumers can cross reference the product they have in their possession with the batches listed on the site. This is an integral part of the WADA code and the due diligence athletes need to carry out in order to manage the risk of inadvertent doping.
In addition to testing every batch, we also carry out blind testing. This is where LGC independently purchases the certified product from a retail outlet (physical or online) – each sample being subject to the same stringent analysis for banned substances.
Who benefits from the Informed-Sport program?
Anyone who uses sports nutrition products! Whether you’re an elite athlete, military personnel or a general consumer, you can benefit from the program as it provides peace of mind and the knowledge that the supplements you are consuming have been screened for a wide range of prohibited substances. Grenade® customers can rest assured that the brand is going above and beyond to provide safer products that they can use in their day to day lives and training.
How many brands are currently Informed-Sport certified?
225 brands are certified across both the Informed-Sport and Informed-Choice testing programmes, totalling to over 1000 products globally.
How important do you think it is for supplements and sports nutrition products to be Informed-Sport certified?
I think it is extremely important. No one wants to consume products that may contain banned substances that could be harmful to their health and well-being. Being Informed-Sport certified provides consumers with a level of trust as the brand are going the extra mile to ensure the market is a safer place."