Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 8426 SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2016 goodHEALTH Bigger, Stronger, Faster? by Dr. Kwabena Blankson | Contributor IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS The GNC website has categories like “Nitric Oxide,” “Hardcore Products” and “Mass Gainers” to name a few. My fear is that teens will walk into a GNC or Google “sports nutrition supplements” and end up ordering something potentially unsafe and likely unhelpful to their pursuit of “fitness.” Fitness. During wellness visits, I focus my discussion of health and wellness on five numbers. 9 hours of sleep a night, 5 servings of fruits/vegetables a day, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour or more of exercise and 0 sugar drinks/sugary foods. These are great numbers for all of us to live by. (Adults laugh at the 9 hours of sleep—your teenagers do too, but this summer they know how great it felt to sleep 9 hours. Remind them of this throughout the school year.) These numbers lie at the heart of fitness, in my opinion. Here’s some information about sports supplements to keep you and your teenager up to speed and safe: In 2010, over 40 billion dollars were spent in the US on dietary supplements. The Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994 was created to help regulate this billion-dollar industry. Here are some of the provisions: • A firm is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements it manufactures or distributes are safe. • Dietary supplements do not need approval from the FDA before they are marketed. • Except in the case of a new dietary ingredient, a firm does not have to provide the FDA with the evidence it relies on to substantiate safety or effectiveness claims. Some of these dietary supplements are ergogenic (i.e., performance-enhancing); they are laced with substances, such as anabolic steroids or “pro-hormones,” to boost the results and increase sales. reported this practice is done in up to 25% of ergogenic aids! So even though all steroid and “steroid-like” products are banned, they could still end up in your teen’s supplement! Have you noticed the rash of professional athletes recently banned from their sport who swear that they are taking clean supplements but still pop positive on drug tests? I suspect that sometimes their supplements are actually spiked! Another phrase you will notice on many supplements is “proprietary blend.” Manufactures will create mixtures that contain small amounts of the desired product mixed into a large amount of a cheaper product. Some of these supplements are full of testosterone and caffeine. And does your teenager really need any more testosterone? Or caffeine? I believe there are four key questions to ask before taking any supplement: 1. What is the claim behind the use of the supplement? 2. Is there any research that supports or refutes the claim? 3. Does it have any side effects and are they dangerous? 4. Is it legal? Your teenager may not be willing to do the legwork to answer these questions, but you should if you are allowing them to take supplements. Let’s run a couple of these supplements through the ringer. Creatine, nitric oxide, protein and carbohydrate mixtures are some of the most commonly purchased supplements. CREATINE Claims? It’ll make you bigger and stronger! Evidence? Research shows that it has no benefits on aerobic exercise but has some benefit in short-term, high intensity exercise. Side effects? Weight gain (which may be desired). No liver or kidney issues, even after five years of use. Possible improvement in cholesterol measurements. Legal? Yes. Verdict: Claims truthful to an extent but use with caution. It is NOT regulated by the FDA. NITRIC OXIDE Claims? Your muscles will get bigger because it increases blood flow through them. Evidence? There are no studies of performance-enhancing benefits, but reports show that during training, nitric oxide content in blood increases in working muscles. Side effects? No studies done. Legal? Yes. Verdict: Why bother? You’re probably wasting your money. Some of these dietary supplements are ergogenic (i.e., performance- enhancing); they are laced with substances, such as anabolic steroids or“pro-hormones,” to boost the results and increase sales. continued on Page 76