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Question
Posted by: Vanessa | 2010/02/03

High school boys and supplements

Hi, my 16yr old wants to lose weight. He is already very muscular but thinks if he takes supplements it will help him to lose weight and improve he size of his muscles.

I am totally against it. Cannot think for one moment that this kind of supplements can be good for his health.

His friends are all taking things like USN etc but they are very skinny and needed to build some muscles. Even then, I do not approve. Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSports Nutrition

Hi Vanessa,

Sports supplements in general is definitely NOT indicated for children < 18 years.

Creatine is a popular supplement amongst young athletes and can be found widely in popular protein supplements (USN, EAS, etc.) The American College of Sports Medicine discourages the use of creatine in adolescents < 18 years due to the potential adverse health effects. NO studies have shown the effectiveness of creatine supplements in people < 18 years and there is NO data documenting the safety thereof.

I would suggest your son see a dietician specializing in sport nutrition to assess the adequacy of his current diet according to the requirements for his sport. She can determine after thorough assessment whether or not any supplementation is necessary. If he wants to “bulk up”, we usually rather prescribe a complete liquid meal replacement (such as Nutren Active/ Optimum or Ensure) as it is rather the total amount of energy / calories in combination with exercise that help to build muscle..and not only protein. We usually do get adequate amounts of protein from the diet. These meal replacements are also used in hospitals in patients who have weak immune systems, so it is 100% safe and much much less expensive than some of the other supplements.

There are also other factors to consider concerning nutrition and exercise, for example the timing of his food intake around his training schedule to optimize performance and body composition.

Please let me know if you require any additional information.

Kind Regards,
Sunita

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Sandra | 2010/05/10

Seems even giving teens the real medical facts is just not enough to let them give up the idea of supplements. Parental and adult views are not taken seriously at high school age.
They think they are invincible.
The pressure to be in the top teams for rugby etc is immense, and they compare themselves with peers who are bigger genetically but are being provided with high cost supps by parents! I wish I knew the answer as we are dealing with the steroid issue now too which is frightening.

Reply to Sandra
Posted by: Sports Nutrition | 2010/02/05

Hi Vanessa,

Sports supplements in general is definitely NOT indicated for children < 18 years.

Creatine is a popular supplement amongst young athletes and can be found widely in popular protein supplements (USN, EAS, etc.) The American College of Sports Medicine discourages the use of creatine in adolescents < 18 years due to the potential adverse health effects. NO studies have shown the effectiveness of creatine supplements in people < 18 years and there is NO data documenting the safety thereof.

I would suggest your son see a dietician specializing in sport nutrition to assess the adequacy of his current diet according to the requirements for his sport. She can determine after thorough assessment whether or not any supplementation is necessary. If he wants to “bulk up”, we usually rather prescribe a complete liquid meal replacement (such as Nutren Active/ Optimum or Ensure) as it is rather the total amount of energy / calories in combination with exercise that help to build muscle..and not only protein. We usually do get adequate amounts of protein from the diet. These meal replacements are also used in hospitals in patients who have weak immune systems, so it is 100% safe and much much less expensive than some of the other supplements.

There are also other factors to consider concerning nutrition and exercise, for example the timing of his food intake around his training schedule to optimize performance and body composition.

Please let me know if you require any additional information.

Kind Regards,
Sunita

Reply to Sports Nutrition

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