Evidence for sports products “doesn’t stack up” – BBC/BMJ

A joint investigation into sports products by BBC Panorama and the British Medical Journal has found “a striking lack of evidence” that they work.

A team of scientists at Oxford University looked at for a wide range of sports drinks, protein shakes and trainers.

After studying data from over a hundred trials for a leading sports drink, the scientists concluded that the size of effect (produced by the product) was “miniscule”.

Examining the claim made for a leading sports supplement  – ‘helps hard-training athletes recover faster after intense exercise’ – the Oxford team said the evidence “does not stack up”.

Commenting on manufacturers’ claims that certain amino acids help improve muscle strength professor professor Mike Lean said the evidence was “absolutely fringe” and “almost totally irrelevant even at top level athletics”.

Panorama: The Truth About Sports Products broadcasts today (July 19) at 8 o’clock.