College Sports Ban Vitamin Water

NCAA puts ban on certain flavors of Vitamin Water

Anthony Brown ’12 and Taylor Parker ’12 | Editors

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has banned or considered some flavors and ingredients in the sports drink Vitamin Water. An “impermissible” nutritional supplement product that contains ingredients that do not comply with the NCAA Division I and Division II bylaws on nutritional supplements. The NCAA lets the student-athletes know beforehand that they’re responsible for what they consume.They’re told what the banned substances are so they can eat and drink responsibly.

According to the NCAA’s website, they also advise that the student-athletes look over the product and its label with their athletic departments for a few reasons:

  • The dietary supplement could cause positive drug tests because they’re not properly regulated
  • Players have lost their eligibility because they tested positive for performance enhancing drugs while using the dietary supplements,
  • There are contaminated supplements that have banned drugs not found on the label

If the athletes choose to consume these supplements, they’re taking a risk. Varsity girls’ soccer coach George Hunt said he remembered when it first came out and he thought it was great to have a non-carbonated sports drink. Bishop McNamara High School’s Athletic Director Anthony Johnson said students should Just drink Gatorade or Powerade. He doesn’t think student-athletes would favor a sports drink based on taste. He believes it’s easy to just drink Vitamin Water but If Gatorade were found to have illegal substances, it would be more of an issue.

According to the University of Alabama athletics website, the banned or impermissible Vitamin Water flavors and ingredients are the following:

  • Energy Tropical Citrus (Caffeine, guarana seed extract),
  • Rescue Green Tea (Caffeine; green tea extract and ecgc or Epigallocatechin Gallate),
  • Power-C Dragonfruit (Taruine),
  • B-Relaxed Jackfruit Guava(L-theanine),
  • Vital-t Lemon Tea-Rooibos(Rooibos tea extract)
  • Balance Cran-Grapefruit(glucosamine).

The NCAA did however, approve flavors of Vitamin Water which include:

  • Revive (Fruit Punch)
  • Essential (Orange-Orange)
  • XXX (Acai, Blueberry and Pomegranate)
  • Focus (Focus Kiwi Strawberry)
  • Formula 50 (Grape)
  • Multi-V (Lemonade)
  • Charge (Lemon Lime)
  • Endurance(Peach-Mango)
  • Defense(Raspberry Mango)

It wouldn’t be wrong to think that since Caffeine is a banned substance by the NCAA, student-athletes can’t have soda, coffee etc. but according to Darryl Conway Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine for the University of Maryland, drinking a cup of coffee or having a soda won’t get a player banned. People wouldn’t think that any illegal substances are in sports drinks like Vitamin Water, and probably don’t think about because they just want to get something to drink or if your an athlete, you’re just worried about getting your energy back and getting out on the court or the field. It’s great that the NCAA brings awareness to this because if not, college athletics would be under a microscope due to the fact that so many players are testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.

So it’s pretty clear what flavors the student-athletes should drink, the question is, will they drink those flavors? It’s pointless to drink the flavors of Vitamin Water with the illegal substances in them because you can into trouble and now a days, no matter what sport you play, your college career can make or break you.

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