Athletes have tried many creative concoctions over the years to reach a higher level of success on the field -- deer antler, anyone? -- but a key member of the Baltimore Ravens has taken it to a new level.

Running back Ray Rice got ready for the 2011 regular season by consuming a seed from Bolivia that is said to help keep your digestive system in top shape.

Ever heard of Salvia hispanica? Odds are good its other name, the chia seed, may ring a bell. The grain is the magical element that provides endless joy for owners of the Chia Pet. The Salvia hispanica seed helps give Chia Scooby-Doo, Chia Shrek, Chia Homer Simpson and Chica Obama their famous mossy hair.

A buddy of Rice, Jesse Itzler, who happens to be an investor in the chia business, convinced Rice to give the special seeds a try. At first, the Ravens star thought "they looked like bird seeds," but thanks to a big time sales pitch from Itzler, Rice's workout routine went to the birds.

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When you think of substances on the NCAA's banned drug list, your mind probably races to steroids, HGH, and multisyllabic chemicals ending in –ol.

But how about caffeine?

It's true: Caffeine is not only mentioned, but mentioned prominently by the NCAA on its drug list. The No. 1 classification of banned substances is "stimulants" and examples of those include "amphetamine (Adderall); caffeine (guarana); cocaine; ephedrine" and several others.

Now, it’s not like USC's Matt Barkley or Michigan's Denard Robinson are getting kicked off the field for drinking gas station coffee. Caffeine can have health benefits, after all. And according to a study by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a 220-pound athlete would need to drink "1.5 to 5 average-sized cups of coffee to potentially enhance performance." (Calls to the NCAA about what would trigger a positive test were not returned.)

But most NCAA athletes are lighter and could potentially get benefits from one or two cups. How can anyone tell how much is too much? That's the problem. There is no caffeine warning label. And there is no federal rule about showing the amount of caffeine in a beverage, although the American Beverage Association points out some makers voluntarily put labels on their products.

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