2000.09.04: "NCAA Bans Protein"
( thanks to Tom Morley [tmorley@bmtc.mindspring.com] for bringing this development to MFW's collective attention )

In a statement released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on August 14th [ full text at http://www.ncaa.org/news/20000814/active/3717 n22.html ] issued guidelines for its requirement that, effective August 1st, "institutions may provide only non-muscle-building nutritional supplements [...] provided they do not contain any NCAA-banned substances."

Protein supplements, meal-replacement powders, "energy bars," and other substances in which more than 30% of the calories are from protein are now explicitly banned by the NCAA (skim milk, whole eggs, and broccoli, for example, all get over 30% of their calories from protein, whereas McDonalds milkshakes, french fries, and Doritos would all be acceptable under NCAA guidelines)

The list of NCAA-banned substances is extensive; it includes anything containing amino acids (all proteins contain amino acids), creatine, melatonin, ginseng, glucosamine, or even some substances as yet unknown to modern science (or at least modern spelling) such as the mysterious "i-carnitin."

While picking on spelling errors might sound petty, we are talking about official guidelines issued by a regulatory body overseeing academic athletic programs. It seems that if one can research a substance in sufficient depth to determine that it is inappropriate in the context of collegiate athletics, one really ought to have encountered its the correct spelling somewhere along the way.

To be fair, this ruling only prohibits an academic institution, its agents, and its employees from providing these to students or "facilitating" an athlete's access to substances like powdered milk and "energy bars" and would not prevent an individual athlete from purchasing a packet of Met-Rx and consuming it at home. Nevertheless, athletic teams, even collegiate ones, have been known to go on the road for competitions and events, and there have been recorded instances of athletes eating foods while on the road, and it would not surprise me if skim milk and broccoli had managed to creep insidiously into the collegiate athletes' menu at some times in the past.

2000.08.11: Just started working on a comparison listing of supplement ingredients and cost; not much there yet, but you can see how I'm doing in the Supplement Comparison Guide
2000.07.20: [Misc.Fitness.Weights] Pointer to FAQs and Resources, The mfw "pointer FAQ" in hypertext form, now updated to version 3.0
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