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How Safe are Your Supplements

By Jimmy Page

Jimmy Page

“I am not seeking glory for myself...If I glorify myself,
my glory means nothing.”

– John 8:50, 54

Steroid use has in many ways cast a shadow over the entire world of sports. Many fans have been left wondering whether or not anybody in big-time athletics is clean. At this stage of the game with penalties for positive drug tests escalating, an athlete would be a fool to take a chance with steroids. But the quest for glory still lures some into a reputation-destroying mistake.

Perhaps equally concerning is the growing belief among athletes that they have to take something in order to improve their performance and have a chance to compete. Many athletes have turned to over-thecounter (OTC) supplements to gain this edge. And many athletes and parents believe that because these products are available in almost any health food store, they must be safe. However, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t strictly regulate the
supplement industry, making the quality and safety of these products difficult to determine. This puts the responsibility of knowing what athletes are taking squarely on the shoulders of every parent, coach and trainer.

The NCAA has more than 100 substances listed on its banned-drug list. Their site even warns against the use of nutritional supplements because they may contain substances banned by the NCAA.

Some of the most popular supplements today contain the following substances:
Creatine Monohydrate
HGH (human growth hormone)
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)
THG (tetrahydrogestrinone)
ANDRO (androstenedione)

Not only are some of these substances banned, but they all have potentially serious side effects. And just because a substance like creatine has not been banned doesn’t mean that it’s safe to take. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine has recommended that people 18 and
younger not take creatine.

Parents, it’s time to take a look at what your young athletes are taking. Don’t just assume that your son or daughter is taking a harmless protein powder. Take a closer look at what they’re bringing home from the local health food store and start asking the tough questions.

Coaches, looking the other way won’t cut it anymore. Go the extra mile and warn your athletes about the dangers of taking certain popular supplements. Help your athletes create a solid nutritional plan that will help them compete to their fullest potential without risky side effects.

Athletes, God doesn’t want you to take shortcuts on the road to glory. Remember that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Don’t just take a supplement because everyone else is taking it. Until supplements are closely regulated by the FDA, it is imperative that we proceed with great caution into the world of supplements. For the Christian athlete, God’s reputation is at stake.

Copyright 2007 Sharing the Victory Magazine

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