Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Your Teen Athlete

Each year there are famous athletes that are paraded across the news for using performance-enhancing drugs. Unfortunately, there are so many young athletes that look up to them. Many follow in their idol’s footsteps and begin using these drugs as well. When it comes to performance-enhancing drugs and your teen athlete, you want to talk to them and see what they think.Teens and steroids

Teenage athletes may not think about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs, especially when their favorite athletes use them. They may think if they use these drugs, too, they’ll be as good as their idol. What they don’t realize is that these drugs aren’t a shortcut to sports supremacy; they could very well lead to death.

Performance-enhancing drugs and supplements promise to boost an athlete’s performance, enhance their physical appearance, and increase muscle mass and strength. Unfortunately they can also be harmful, especially to young men and women who may use or abuse them.

What is it about these performance-enhancing drugs that makes them desirable? What do they promise that causes athletes of nearly every age to take them?

* Creatine is a compound that your body naturally creates, but it can also be found over the counter as a supplement. Using this compound helps athletes recover after a workout. It also promises to increase muscle mass and strength. Besides the good that it can do, it can cause weight gain, nausea, and muscle cramps. If taken incorrectly or in large amounts, it can cause kidney damage.

* Anabolic steroids are the most common performance-enhancing compounds. They build muscle and increase strength which is why bodybuilders and football players use it so often. This drug can halt bone growth which can be particularly hazardous for teens that are still growing. They can also cause heart and liver damage.

* Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the only steroid precursor that is available over the counter. All other forms are illegal without a prescription. They are used to build muscle mass and have similar side effects as those of steroids.

It’s important for your teenage athlete to know that you love them, no matter how well they perform in sports. You may want to discuss your expectations of them as an athlete and you as a parent. Let them know their health and safety is more important than athletic prowess.

Don’t expect your teenage athlete to bring up the subject of using performance-enhancing drugs. Instead, you’ll want to broach the subject. Talk to your teen about the proper way to care for their body, and how doing so will help them be a better athlete naturally. Most importantly, explain to your teenager how dangerous these performance-enhancing drugs are, especially to still-growing teenage bodies.

Teenage athletes want to be successful at their chosen sport. They may feel that using performance-enhancing drugs is the only way to accomplish that. Remember that your teenage athlete is smarter than you may give them credit for. It’s alright if you ask them tough questions. Do your best to talk to them so they understand your expectations and concerns about performance-enhancing drugs and their potential use or use of them.