Why manufacturing quality matters.


Doesn’t matter how dirty you train if you can’t test clean.

::note: while the focus of this post is on the importance for tested athletes to know the ingredients they’re ingesting for competition purposes, it’s equally as important for the nontested or nonathlete consumer to know what they’re putting in their bodies. the information herein is pertinent to all informed supplement consumers::

How often do you see an athlete fail a drug test and claim they took the flagged substance unknowingly?

It has been happening more and more, and naturally we all like to blame the athlete until the supplement in question has been tested for the illegal compound. Sure, we can talk about the athlete’s decision to use that supplement, but let’s focus on the manufacturing aspect here. Chances are if you take supplements, you have probably unknowingly taken something that wasn’t supposed to be in the products (like the athlete above) or the product may have never even had the ingredients you thought you were taking. It’s a scary thought but its why knowing where and how your products are manufactured is important. With more ingredients being banned (think DMAA/DMHA,) “kitchen sink” brands are starting to pop out of nowhere. These products are most likely not coming from an FDA-registered, CGMP facility, meaning they are not regulated and frankly could contain anything.

The supplement industry is regulated by the FDA a bit more than many may realize. Most manufacturing facilities are registered by the FDA and must follow the DSHEA guidelines for compliant products. In doing so, they are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded, and they are also responsible for evaluating the safety of their products prior to marketing them.

Another thing to look for in manufacturing facilities is a Good Manufacturing Process certificate (CGMP). CGMP is a system that ensures products are produced and controlled to quality standards, consistently. For a facility to acquire a CGMP they must apply for it, be thoroughly inspected by the FDA, and continually be inspected to maintain that certification. Another good quality to look at for all manufacturers is third party testing and in-house quality testing of the products as well as their raw materials. Some manufacturers stock their own raw ingredients and others have to source them independently, regardless some form of quality testing is recommended on the raw materials to ensure there are no toxins or unwanted items in the product.

Taking it a step further, for collegiate athletes or those in strictly tested organizations, looking for National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified products is the way to go. Any product that is NSF certified has been tested and thoroughly evaluated by an independent organization to certify that what is in the product is, in fact, in the product.

Tested and non-tested athletes, it’s up to you to make sure you know what substances you’re ingesting and to make informed decisions when it comes to supplementation. Knowing where products are manufactured is one of the only ways to guarantee brand confidence, so it’s worth making the effort or you may end up learning the hard way.

Subject Zero products are manufactured in an FDA- and CGMP-certified facility that routinely performs quality assurance testing on all their raw materials and products.

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