From: Mayo Clinic
Performance-enhancing drugs and teen athletes
Performance-enhancing drugs can be tempting for teen athletes. Understand the warning signs and what you can do to keep your teen from using shortcuts to improve athletic performance. By Mayo Clinic staff
News stories abound about famous athletes who admit to having used performance-enhancing drugs. So it's no surprise that as many as 1 in 20 teenagers reports using steroids to increase muscle mass. If you're the parent of a teen, make time to talk about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. By explaining the consequences of performance-enhancing drugs, including the side effects, you can help your teen steer clear of the dangers. What are the most common performance-enhancing drugs?
Among teens, the most common performance-enhancing drugs and supplements include: Creatine. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in the body that's also sold as an over-the-counter supplement. It's primarily used to enhance recovery after a workout and increase muscle mass and strength. Creatine is popular with athletes who participate in football, gymnastics, hockey and wrestling. Anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of the hormone testosterone, used to build muscle and increase strength. They're popular with football players and weightlifters. Steroid precursors. Steroid precursors, such as androstenedione ("andro") and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), are substances that the body converts into anabolic steroids. They're used to increase muscle mass. Most steroid precursors are illegal without a prescription. DHEA, however, is still available in over-the-counter preparations. What are the hazards of performance-enhancing drugs?
Steroids and their precursors can have severe, long-lasting effects on health. The higher the dose, the more severe the effects. Some of these side effects are reversible, while others are not. In growing adolescents one of the major risks of using...
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