Sports Supplements and Your Teen Athlete

href=”https://thechirostudio.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/supplements_1.png”>Supplements_1The fall season is here and for many parents that means our children are getting back to some of our fall sports like football and wrestling. Some teens even plan on playing more than one sport this year or season.

Many of us know, and sometimes even encourage, our teens to use performance enhancing supplements. It has been a growing trend for the teenage population through out the years.

Among the healthy vitamin and mineral supplements like multivitamins, vitamin C, calcium and iron are the less healthy substances such as caffeine, creatine, ephedra, human growth hormone (HGH) and anabolic steroids. Some teens, and those that influence them (like coaches, parents, and teammates) have progressively been taking more dangerous substances under the impression that they are as harmless as vitamins and minerals.

Although many performance-enhancing supplements are advertised as being safe- especially those made up of natural compounds- a great number of them have not been tested by any regulatory agency, and the safety is actually UNKNOWN.

The pressure to excel at sports is greater than ever, and there is increasing competition to get into elite sports programs where they have a better chance of being discovered by professional sports scouts. The possibility of fame and fortune can be a strong enticement to our athletic youth to try performance-enhancing supplements to give them an edge over their competition.

Young athletes also try these drugs to encourage growth and muscle development, prevent illness and reduce fatigue. It is most common to these athletes to try different performance-enhancing supplements if they play tow or more different sports and are required to “bulk up”, such as wrestlers and weight lifters.

While he opinion of friends, teammates, and coaches was a huge influence on the decision of the young football players, wrestlers, and other athletes, to take supplements (mainly creatine) it was their parents who had the greatest amount of influence on their decision. So it is incredibly important for parents to be educated as to the benefits and drawbacks of each of these supplements. If you ar the parent of a young athlete, have a conversation with them about supplements. Remember to involve them in the research and be amazed at what you and your teen will discover!

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