Athletic Supplements Essays

Submitted By tompoko
Words: 1864
Pages: 8

A young athlete has a passion for soccer. He trains year round in hopes of one day representing his country in the Olympics. At the age of just twenty, he is a phenomenon known around the world and his training finally pays off when he tried out for the national team and made it. A friend of his told him about a pill that will allow him to train longer and is perfectly legal. The athlete took the pill not knowing what it even was and after the Olympics, after his country had won gold, he is tested and they find an illegal substance in his urine. All of the athletes training in the years leading up to this moment have all gone to waste because of one pill. Many athletes around the world use substances and supplements to help their bodies do more and recover quicker. Some substances and supplements are legal and some are illegal and banned from all sports. Athletes need to be responsible and understand what the substances and/or supplements they are taking are and what they do to the human body.
In the United States, the Dietary Health and Education Act (DHEA), defines a dietary supplement as a food product added to the diet that contains at least one of the following: a vitamin, mineral, amino acid, herb, extract, constitutes, or any combination of them. These cannot be considered a meal or be characterized as a usual food (Williams, Kreider & Branch). Dietary supplements are often paired with performance enhancing drugs because they are often consumed for the same goal; making the body do more of something. They have been around in sports since the ancient Olympic games. Today, most sports have a list of banned substances and supplements that cannot be used both nationally and internationally. Despite the risk of being caught and being suspended indefinitely, many athletes still use the supplements and substances because they want to remain ahead of their competitors. Many of them also believe they can always be one step ahead of the drug testers. Additionally, some athletes who would never think of using illegal supplements actually end up taking them because they feel pressured that if they don’t, they will never become good enough. Well informed athletes who eat and train right don’t need any supplements at all because they are giving their bodies what they need to grow. Over the past decade, the sport supplement industry has boomed. “With more than 600 sport nutrition companies marketing over 6,000 products that produce annual sales of over $4 billion in the United States alone” (Baechle & Earle, 191). These nutritional supplements are not required to meet the same safety requirements as the over the counter and prescription drugs are. The companies are not held to specific manufacturing criteria, the products are not guaranteed to do what they are claimed to do, the companies are not required to meet safety testing before they go out on the market, and lastly, they are not required to test the health claims that they make. The FDA will not remove a product from the market unless it is proven to cause a certain medical problem. Athletes and everyone who takes supplements has to be extremely careful and know what exactly they are taking. Doing research on a supplement before putting it into the body and talking to a health practitioner are two great ways of preventing sickness from supplements (Minigh). Creatine is a nitrogenous compound that is synthesized naturally in the body, mostly in the liver. It can also be synthesized in the pancreas and kidneys but in smaller amounts. Arginine, methionine and glycogen are the precursors for the synthesis of creatine in the organs. Inside the body, 98% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle and the other two percent in located in the heart, brain, and for males, testes. One can obtain creatine naturally through meat and fish (Baechle & Earle). Creatine supplements are often used by athletes, body builders, sprinters, wrestlers and others who want to gain muscle mass.