Essay Preview: Anabolic Steroids
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In todays modern age muscle supplements have become the answer for many young people to develop the body which they want to achieve. Younger users are taking supplements without thinking about the consequences that go along with taking them. Young athletes are choosing to buy muscle substances that they know nothing about. To get to the solutions on how to fix the supplement problem among young athletes, it is most important that we educate both the athletes, and their parents about the risks involved with taking muscle supplements.
It is vitally important to understand what the supplements are and why athletes take them. Creatine is an amino acid that is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and it helps muscles replenish adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which fuels muscle contraction (Balsom). Creatine was made famous by the Major League Baseball player Mark Maguire, who openly shared with the public his daily use of Creatine. Mark Maguire broke the record for homeruns hit in a season, and since then Creatine has become the most widely used supplement out on the market. No one is sure about the long term side effects of Creatine. Some scientists believe that when being used by young athletes it may stunt the growth of the adolescent. Some of the short term side effects include cramps, especially in the legs, and upset stomach.
I used Creatine when I was 16 years old, and built up an extra 15 pounds of muscle while on the supplement. My main sport was soccer, and the extra muscle was great and helped me tremendously at first. Then problems started occurring in the lower half of my body. My legs would cramp while I was in the middle of a game, which had never happened to me before. It was then that I realized that Creatine was causing the cramps. Soccer requires a large amount of running, and with constant leg cramps I was unable to perform at the level I needed, so I stopped using the supplement. Within two weeks I had lost the extra 15 pounds, which was disappointing, but I was cramp free in the legs, which was a relief. Several of my friends who played football were also using Creatine, but the sport they played required less running, and more muscle. Therefore the supplement aided them in becoming better football players. The key to using supplements lies in the results you want to achieve, and the risks you are willing to take. It was foolish of me to take a supplement which was counterproductive to what I was trying to excel in. If I were told by someone that what I was taking would cause cramps in my legs, I would have stopped right away
Androstenedione (Andro) is an anabolic, muscle-building, steroid (Tarnopolsky). Anabolic steroids are drugs that have an anabolic or protein building effect similar to testosterone and other male sex hormones (Tarnopolsky). They mimic the anabolic effects of testosterone, build tissue, promote muscle recovery, and help strengthen the bones. The biggest misconception about Andro, is that since it is made inside of the body, that it natural. The body regulates the amount of Andro produced, and the addition of any extra is far from natural, rather highly dangerous (Glace).
While most experts believe that the side effects of creatine, if any, will typically be mild, many dont feel the same way about andro. Andro is capable of creating very severe side effects. Some positive short term effects are larger muscles and more stamina, which is why most people take them. The negative short term effects are fits of rage, acne, and baldness. The possible long term effects include liver disease, cancer, and heart disease Scientists are more concerned about amateur athletes, such as high school and college athletes, than they are about professional athletes. They are more concerned about amateur athletes because they are still growing and the supplements could possibly stunt their growth.