By Austin Kelly
John is a typical high school football player. He’s muscular, because he works out with the team several times a week. One day during practice, he was missing blocks and was always a step behind his teammates.
John’s teammates use supplements before workouts and he doesn’t.
Now John has a question: “Should I take supplements or not?”
Many student athletes are facing this same question, but they get mixed messages about the risks and benefits of taking a regiment of supplements.
According to brand packaging, supplements can help people get the most from their intense training sessions and healthy diets. Some athletes take supplements to boost their energy levels, speed recovery process after workouts, and build muscle.
Consumers should weigh the risks of taking supplements with the benefits. It all comes down to if the user is being a healthy consumer of the product, according to health and physical education teacher Matt Dennish.
“Supplements can be beneficial to athletes when taken properly,” Red Lion health teacher Mr. Dennish said. “The challenge is finding the proper/safe option.”
To supplement users who follow the directions for the product and contact their physician before using the product, usage is safe for most users in proper amounts. But for those who don’t read the warning label on the product and take it with pre-existing medical conditions could face harmful effects.
“The supplement industry is very unregulated and knowing who to take advice from can be a frustrating process,” Dennish said.
It’s important for all athletes to have a healthy diet and to consult a physician. “For high school athletes, a well-balanced diet is typically enough for preparation and recovery,” Mr. Dennish said. “Sometimes supplements can help athletes with deficiencies, but speaking with a doctor before taking anything is important.”
“I think supplements are good as long as you take the proper amount and at the right time,” senior football quarterback Dalton Grove said. Dalton sometimes takes protein after a hard workout in the gym. “They are a good way to build muscle and aren’t bad as long as you take the right stuff.”
“I’ve been taking supplements for a year now and have seen nothing but gains and muscle, but you have to dedicate yourself by working out 3-4 times a week,” senior lacrosse player Jac Gemmill said. Jac goes to the gym in the off season of lacrosse and takes pre-workout before he lifts because it make him work harder.
”I know supplements work because I got a lot bigger and stronger from using them," senior wrestling captain Jared Schell said.
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