Methods: We reviewed various databases and organizational sites for policies or articles about policies on supplement use in adolescents for the enhancement of sports performance.We searched PubMed, MANTIS, SportDiscuss and various organizations for their policy on the subject. Search terms included adolescents and nutritional supplements;sports-enhancing supplements,and youth sports or adolescent athletes in various combinations. We comment on the literature regarding studies on supplement use by these athletes and the policies we could identify.
Discussion: Most people see nutritional supplements as harmless natural substances.5 Because they can be purchased legally at health food stores, drugstores, and on the Internet, these products have become a popular sports-enhancement tool among many adolescent athletes. It is estimated that 60%-80% of adolescent athletes consume supplements.The types of products consumed vary greatly. Creatine, androstenedione, and protein are some of the most common.Reasons for adolescent supplement use include perceived health benefits, illness prevention, energy boost, and increased sports performance. Despite the increased reliance on these nutritional substances, many adolescents are not aware of the potential short-term and long-term risks.
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