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Who is HASTA and why are they important?

HASTA Swimmer
So, you’re hearing all this noise about HASTA and you’re thinking “why should I care?”

HASTA – and the work they do – is extremely important in the professional sporting space and while you might not be cashing a pay cheque for those tough training sessions, the peace of mind that certification or batch testing can provide is hugely important.

Who is HASTA?
HASTA (Human and Supplement Testing Australia) is Australia’s most advanced and globally recognised drug-testing laboratory. They’re the first lab in Australia to provide testing and certification of sports supplements for elite athletes by an experienced, independent and professional drug testing team.

What do they do exactly?
HASTA’s role as an independent testing facility is about protecting both athletes and manufacturers regarding the supplements they take or produce. They test products against more than 200 prohibited substances as per WADA (World Anti-Doping Authority) guidelines to ensure that athletes competing in official competitions can take supplements with confidence they are free from prohibited substances.

Given their high athletic output, athletes often supplement their nutritional intake in some way, shape or form to support their performance, recovery or manage injuries. However, they need to be really mindful of what they’re putting into their bodies when it comes to WADA. One accidental misstep can undo years of hard work in an instant.

Shouldn’t product labels be enough?
You would think so. But unfortunately, these can be misleading in a few ways.

We look at labels on products and check ingredients and nutritional information among a myriad of things, but sometimes these aren’t always an accurate reflection of what’s inside.

In the case of supplements, many varying products can be manufactured within the same facility – which is where cross-contamination can become an issue. Considering the potential of cross-contamination; while no one may intend for this to happen, it’s certainly a risk if products that contain banned substances share the same production line as those that don’t.

The consumption of contaminated supplements – in inadvertent or otherwise – has led to drug prosecutions for some of the world’s most high-profile athletes. This is why it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’.

It’s also important to know that these ‘prohibited substances’ as per WADA guidelines are many and varied, so thorough independent testing through HASTA is invaluable.

I’m not a professional, so does it really matter?
There are a wide range of sports supplements on the market with no independent guarantee of the product’s quality or reliability.

Regardless of whether you’re a pro or not, knowing exactly what you’re putting into your body is so important for your overall health.

Independent, third-party supplement testing should be seen as the gold standard across the board and HASTA testing will give you everything you need to know before introducing a new product into your nutrition routine.

What’s the difference between certification and batch-testing?
Generally, batch-testing means that one specific batch of a product has been sent for independent third party testing.

Certifying a product involves not just testing, but verifying the ongoing manufacturing quality controls in place. If a product has the HASTA certified seal on pack, it means that every batch has been tested for over 200 WADA prohibited substances.

So, there you have it, a little bit on HASTA to get you started.

With so many products out there it can be overwhelming to get your head around. If you head to the HASTA website you can learn more about what they do and search for products that have been subjected to their rigorous testing process.

Jess Spendlove

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