By Ken Reed

A new study says that 1.2 million American adolescents are taking supplements to enhance sports performance. In the vast majority of these cases the supplement involved is a basic multi-vitamin/mineral. The primary red flag raised in the study is the extensive use of creatine by young athletes. Among those using supplements specifically to enhance sports performance, 34.1% reported using creatine.

“Creatine … is a commonly marketed supplement to enhance building of muscle mass and sport performance …, ” according to the study’s authors. “The vast majority of research on creatine has been conducted in a laboratory setting with male athletes >18 years, and there is scant clinical research on a healthy athletic population <18. This is concerning given the findings in this sample that the mean age of those reporting any supplement use for sports performance is just under 11 years." The use of creatine by kids 11 years old and younger is another example of the warped "win-at-all-costs" (WAAC) mentality in this country. While definitely a minority, there are still too many parents and coaches in this country that will take unreasonable risks in the quest of a victory on the sporting field, or in an effort to achieve a highly allusive athletic scholarship for the young athletes under their guidance. -- Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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