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High School players & muscle building supplements



Bordow: Supplement use dangerous for high school athletes

Kelly Moore is no expert on nutritional supplements. But the Mesa High School football coach knows firsthand the effect they can have on a teenager.

"We've had kids drinking three or four Red Bulls every day and all of a sudden at the end of the week they can't make weightlifting in the morning because they're so tired," Moore said. "Why? Because they've used up so much energy in the middle of the day being on that stuff."

The use of nutritional supplements among high school athletes is back in the news after more than 20 Oregon football players received hospital treatment for extreme muscle fatigue and soreness and were found to have elevated levels of the enzyme creatine kinase.

A few of the players told doctors they had been taking protein shakes to try to bulk up, and Dr. Michael Koester, chairman of a state and national high school sports medicine committee, told the Eugene Register-Guard that supplements could have played a "contributing factor."

Scott Brown, athletic director for the Paradise Valley Unified School District, wasn't surprised by the news.

"The fear for me is that kids are always out searching for the next thing they think will help them," Brown said.

Supplement use among adolescents has been rising in recent years as more products become readily available. One 2006 study estimated that 22.3 percent of high school athletes from ages 14 to 19 take supplements on a regular basis.

A 2001 study reported that 62 percent of middle school and high school athletes from ages 10 to 18 had used creatine, which can cause kidney dysfunction. This, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending no one under age 18 should use the supplement.

The worry for Brown and other administrators and coaches is twofold:

First, because supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, product mislabeling is an industrywide problem. One example: In 2009, the FDA recalled 65 dietary supplements available on bodybuilding.com because they contained ingredients the government organization deemed to be steroids.

"I am worried about kids using supplements and not knowing what's in them," said Chuck Schmidt, chief operations officer of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Second, even if supplement manufacturers practice truth in advertising, high school athletes too often ignore the potential danger at their lips.

"One of the things I've learned from talking to kids and listening to coaches," Brown said, "is that with the Internet, kids think they have become so savvy. They really think they have the answers. But they don't pay enough attention to how harmful supplements can be."

Energy drinks, those five-hour pick-me-ups available in every corner store, are the supplement of choice these days for high school athletes, Brown said. Kids are gulping down a couple of bottles after school in order to get an energy boost for practice. What they don't know - or refuse to acknowledge - is that the high levels of caffeine in many of the products can lead to dehydration, particularly in the Arizona heat.

"When they see it's sold at any store, kids just assume it's safe," Brown said. "I'm more concerned about those drinks than I am about stuff like creatine."

The best advice for high school athletes is to practice extreme caution: Don't believe what the label says, don't believe the product is OK because it's sold at the local Circle K, and don't ingest any supplement without medical consent and oversight.

"We really have to do our due diligence in terms of providing them information," Moore said.

Some kids still won't listen. In September 2002, Illinois high school athlete Sean Riggins died of cardiac arrest. Doctors later learned that Riggins had been "jacketing," popping a yellow-and-black striped capsule called Yellow Jacket, before wrestling meets and football practices.

The pills contained ephedra and caffeine, a combination that speeds up the metabolism.

"Basically, his heart was pumping so fast, it gave out on him," coroner Chuck Fricke told Sports Illustrated.

See, kids?

What you don't know can kill you.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/preps/articles/2010/09/01/20100901bordow-supplement-use-dangerous-high-school-athletes.html#ixzz0yUi5BhTD

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