Many young men and woman seek extra help to improve their bodies and performance in sports. A 2012 study reported that 34.7% of boys used a supplement to attempt to improve muscle mass.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, strongly condemned the use of supplements by teenagers:
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly condemns the use of performance-enhancing substances and vigorously endorses efforts to eliminate their use among children and adolescents.
Unfortunately, young people are unaware of these warnings are often sold a bill of goods at supplement stores or online, which promise dramatic results. A recent study Published in American Academy of Pediatrics found that health food stores routinely recommend these supplements as safe, despite evidence and doctor recommendations to the contrary. The authors of the study concluded:
Supplements, such as creatine and testosterone boosters, can pose significant health risks if used by young adolescents. These products are not recommended by some product manufacturers for anyone <18 years of age and should elicit warnings from medical professionals for individuals of any age due to the minimal regulation and safety screening for supplements. Yet, there are no legal restrictions at present limiting the sale of these products to minors. Of greater concern, these products are often being recommended to young teen athletes by the “product experts” at health food stores.
The dangers these supplements are wide-ranging and significant. Important to those living in the dessert is high levels of protein or creatine supplementation also raise the risk of dehydration, as they require additional fluids to clear the body.
Please educate your children on the dangers of these supplements, especially in our extreme climate.