Another hit from the news
02-17-2005 09:49 AM
Another hit from the news
Use of Performance Enhancers by Teens in Spotlight
POSTED: 11:31 am EST February 15, 2005
UPDATED: 5:03 am EST February 17, 2005
ATLANTA -- A recent survey of high school students found that over 300,000 teens between 8th and 12th grade used steroids in 2003. While most teens use legal products, parents worry about supplements that can be trouble along with questioning why the youngsters started taking the supplements in the first place.
Meet Chandler Alford
Chandler Alford, 18, a freshman at Georgia Tech dreams in color. Specifically, gold.
Chandler Alford hopes to go to the Olympic Games one day.
For the past 5 years, Alford has been training and competing in weightlifting competitions around the globe, including Chile and other far-flung places.
He hopes his efforts will pay off one day with a bid to the Olympic Games.
Alford puts in several hours in the gym but has added vitamins and supplements to his routine outside the gym.
"I take creatine as a supplement because I don't get enough," he said, referring to the supplement that is a naturally occurring amino acid. "The reason it's important for us to take creatine, for me as a weightlifter, it's to help with the recovery process."
Experts say there has not been much risk for adults who use creatine but the supplement's effects on children has not been studied as much.
Alford said he did his own research into the supplement before deciding to add it to his routine, speaking to his parents, coaches and doctors.
"From that we were able to conclude that what I would take at a certain amount is perfectly healthy," he said.
The use of creatine by health-conscious exercisers has surged over the past 10 years, jumping from $50 million in 1996 to nearly $1 billion in 2002. Teens accounted for a significant portion of those sales, experts say.
Lee Spencer, owner of Sprayberry Health and Nutrition Center in Marietta, sells creatine at his store but does not necessarily like the idea of youngsters buying it.
"Generally, we don't recommend creatine for kids under the age of 18 just because we don't know how it's going to effect their growing body," he said.
There are hundreds of kinds of supplements sold on store shelves, the Internet and out of gym bags. The products can be used for just about anything but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the products or their claims.
That is why Dr. John Xerogeanes, a member of the Emory University sports team, said the decision to take supplements should be well thought out.
"They can sell anything as a supplement, and you don't know what they are getting," he said. "So they can be extremely dangerous compounds."
Some physicians also worry about a condition known as muscle dismorphia, a psychological diagnosis for young people who aren't athletes but who nevertheless take supplements to build an athlete's body.
Alford said taking supplements for recreation will not do any good for those who don't hit the gym.
"Even if you're not an athlete and you just want to do it to look good that's just plain stupid," he said.
A more potent class of supplements is easily available to those who want them. Steroids, which are illegal in the United States, and the people who use them has been the subject of an enormous amount of study.
Alford said he would never use steroids because that would be cheating.
Steroids Gain in Popularity Thanks to Pro Athletes
While Alford believes using steroids is tantamount to cheating, some professional athletes routinely use performance enhancing supplements.
The revelation that baseball player Mark McGuire used the supplement known as Andro while setting a home run record in 1998 made the substance nearly as famous as he was.
But the extra scrutiny the supplement received in the ensuing uproar prompted regulators to outlaw andostenedione. Moreover, officials with Major League Baseball have clamped down on the use of steroids by its players.
Tom Glavine, a former pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, contends that the issue has been a black cloud over the sport.
"It became a bigger issue," he said. "An issue that we all understood threatened the credibility of the game and also threatened our fan base."
Nick Green, the infield for the Braves, said he hopes parents can turn the headlines into lessons.
"I just hope that the parents are there to tell the kid what's right and what's wrong," he said. "They look up to us, but not everybody does the right things."
The U.S. Congress added Andro to the list of controlled substances in 2003, meaning it should have been immediately pulled from store shelves.
But the substance was taken off the shelves just two weeks ago when the law took effect.
Athletes are always looking for an edge over other players. But players should be wary of advisors who bear gifts.
Cecil Flowe, the football coach at Parkview High School, said one recent trend has been for players to hire personal trainers. He advises his players to be wary of handouts.
"If you want a personal trainer (that's) fine," he said. "To the point that the personal trainer says, 'Here, this will help you' bring me that stuff cause I want to analyze it."
Gwinnett County schools have a policy that forbids coaches from offering performance enhancers or supplements to student players.
But coaches know they are easy to find.
Thanks to the Internet, many young athletes can order steroids online. But officials warn that the supplement's authenticity can not be guaranteed.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 6 percent of teens tried steroids in 2003, compared to less than 3 percent in 1991.
The proliferation of the drugs could spur changes on school campuses. Flowe predicts that Georgia high school athletes could be forced to undergo random drug testing.
"There are too many kids that are dropping over dead for the state not to look at it and say this is not an invasion of privacy," he said.
The Mayo Clinic has a list of recommendations that parents can do to ensure that their children don't become steroid abusers, including:
Educate yourself. Learn what policies your teen's coach and school have in place regarding the use of performance enhancers.
Be clear about expectations. Explain that long-term effects of steroids are not fully understood and that you expect your teen to avoid them. Make no exceptions and teach your teen that short-term gains may lead to long-term problems.
Discuss the ethics of fair play and explain that the use of performance enhancers is similar to cheating. Also explain that a healthy diet and proper physical training are key to athletic prowess. Point out the downsides of using steroids, such as acne.
Talk with your teen's coaches. Make sure they know you don't approve of performance enhancers, and learn what their position is on the issue. You may want to contact your school district's athletic director.
Monitor what your teen buys, particularly on the Internet, and know which over-the-counter medicines your teen is using. Check the ingredients.
Channel 2 Action News producer Chris Cantergiani contributed to this report."
Here is the link to the Article. There is a link to videos on that website. http://www.wsbtv.com/specialassignme...96/detail.html
I can't believe how much time they spent talking about creatine like its a bad thing. Its getting typical of the media about these reports. Sickening.
02-17-2005 10:19 AM
It's hilarious... Government can't win the war on rec. drugs with teens so they're turning their spotlights to steroids - one that COULD potentially win.
02-17-2005 10:32 AM
The Axe Man Cometh!!
Flowe said too many kids are dropping dead because of steroids. I still dont know of anyone who has dropped over dead that was determined to be due to steroids. My entire high school football team was on roids (yea we took state that year) but nobody dropped over dead.
There was however some idiot that OD'd on cocaine, a couple people died from alcohol poisoning, and this other idiot who was sniffing something died from an anuersym but there were no steroid deaths that year.
It is sickening how the media will throw any crap out there just to try and get readers.
02-17-2005 02:22 PM
This is a poor article which shows a drastic lack of understanding, regardless of one's viewpoints, regarding nutritional supplements, 'pro-hormones', and steroids.
"The U.S. Congress added Andro to the list of controlled substances in 2003, meaning it should have been immediately pulled from store shelves. But the substance was taken off the shelves just two weeks ago when the law took effect."
...is just plain untrue. Andro was pulled off of the shelves well before the recent and current outright ban on pro-hormones and related products. There may have been some stores who didn't bother or who unwittingly left some on the shelf, however, the author of the article is clearly confusing the specific 'andro' with the general 'pro-hormones.'
Andro was never much in terms of effectiveness anyway; meaning McGwire either accomplished what he did pretty much on his own or, as is alleged now, with steroids. Though I like McGwire, I tend to think he was juiced and used Andro as a cover/explanation for his 'growth.'
I hate reading things like this article. Ignorance might be bliss for the ignorant, but it's incredibly annoying for the rest of us.
02-17-2005 02:34 PM
I remember guest-speaking in a public school (about another topic of my expertise) and the Channel One show came on. We sat through it while for 30 minutes the teens were lectured with horror stories about how creatine--CREATINE!--was dangerous, akin to steroids. Just like how the article above lumps it in. And does anyone remember that show Boston Public, where the one athlete was caught with "creatine, andro--DOPE!!" in his locker and expelled from the team, resulting in a massive parent-teacher seminar?
02-20-2005 12:24 AM
I'm a highschooler who is just fascinated by this stuff, and I know quite a few people who are big into weightlifting/bodybuilding. 90% of these kids have used creatine (myself not included), use whey protein and other supplements. The school is against the use of whey protein, which is beyond me. I can understand creatine becasue of heat stroke (I believe that's what they called it) coming from baseball players (2 instances I know of) from dehydration and high heat in 2 separate games. Just stupidity playing a part, a reason why I think creatine will fall into the Andro/Pro Hormone ban is that the teens that use it are uneducated of what it does to you and what you need to do when on it.
Just some thoughts from a teen.
02-21-2005 08:35 AM
Now that's just unbelievable.
The school is against the use of whey protein,
02-21-2005 11:26 AM
It's true . There is an article in the weightroom describing the negative effects high amounts of protein have on you ... they're stressing kidney stress and damage (understandable) but not to the effect they stress it to be.
Originally Posted by credible_threat
Plus, they claim the other ingredients in whey protein have damaging effects on your kidneys aswell. I'll try to steal it from school tomorrow (or at least it's source) so you can see the note from the schoolboard on it that says something to the effect:
"As a school district we do not approve or condone the use of supplements enhancing sports performance. They are, but not limited to; creatine, whey protein, glutamine, ephedrine, caffeine, nitric oxide (no2), and testosterone boosters.
"As an athlete, we do not condone your use of these supplements which can lead to physical complications and injury to ones self."...
It just goes on saying proposterous claims if you're a person with common sense, they make virtually no point and only scare the few athletes that train hard with the use of supplements.
02-22-2005 02:00 PM
Holy crap! Are you saying the school district wouldn't like it if you downed a can of mountain dew during a baseball game? That is some obsurd stuff.
Originally Posted by sholiz
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