8 August 2018. An essential online resource dedicated to educating the public on how to buy and consume protein products has been launched by the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), the sports nutrition industry trade association.
The website, www.watchyourprotein.com, is part of the association’s European-wide campaign to educate the public on all things sports nutrition and ensure consumer safety and good health. This is in response to widespread common misconceptions around the industry and its products, and a handful of companies that operate outside the law and prey on the public’s perceived lack of knowledge.
The initiative sits alongside ESSNA’s work to purge irresponsible companies from the sports nutrition industry and eradicate the existence of sports nutrition products that do not abide by the rules and regulations put in place for the protection of consumers. It has so far tackled over 400 cases of products that have misled consumers and/or included banned doping substances, and it recognises that there is a further need to raise the public’s awareness of correct usage of products, particularly as the industry continues to move further into the mainstream.
‘Watch Your Protein’ outlines different sources of protein; benefits of each source; how protein should be consumed; how to read a protein product label; guidance on dosages; and, crucially, where protein should be purchased from and how to avoid illegal products that could pose a risk to the public’s health.
‘Watch Your Protein’ follows the launch of ESSNA’s dedicated kitemark to help the public identify products belonging to its members – who sign up to its strict Code of Conduct, emphasising their commitment to quality and consumer safety –, a new online resource that the public can refer to for more information on everything sports nutrition related, and a Facebook page to encourage consumers to report products they come across on the social media platform, which sees a high number of sales of sports nutrition products every day.
Dr Adam Carey, Chair of ESSNA, said:
“Protein as an ingredient now sees the highest volume of sales in the sports nutrition industry and has become more mainstream than ever; it is used by everyone from a yoga enthusiast eating a protein bar prior to a work out to a weightlifter looking to ‘bulk up’ and supplementing their protein-rich diet with a protein shake. Because of this, it is more important than ever that the public know what they’re buying, how to use it and where to purchase it from reputable manufacturers and retailers.
“Unfortunately, too many misconceptions continue to proliferate about our products, whether that’s the media claiming that we’re not overseen by legislation or athletes blaming their doping scandals on ‘unclean’ sports supplements. The fact is, the majority of the industry is extremely responsible and complies with stringent European laws around the production, labelling and selling of its products. The public need not be worried when buying protein products and they need to understand that their safety and good health is the industry’s number one priority. But more than that, we want an informed public. It’s time once and for all to make sure the public understand what they’re consuming and how they can stay safe while consuming it. ‘Watch Your Protein’ will educate them on everything from what benefits they can expect to see, to what brands they can trust, to what ingredients they should avoid.
“As an industry representative we have a breadth of knowledge that we can share in an unbiased way, and our main aim here is to ensure consumers are being smart, safe and getting the best out of their products”
ESSNA is the voice of the sports nutrition industry and is in dialogue with regulators and policy makers, campaigning in favour of proportionate EU legislation that protects consumers and does not adversely affect the industry.