Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dietary Supplements for Weight Gain in Teens

I am starting a "guest blogger" opportunity for any professional who does not have a personal blog but has something smart, useful, funny, new, or otherwise entertaining to say about issues related to health for adolescents and young adults.

This post is by Dr Karen Reznik-Dolins who is a registered dietician
and licensed sports nutrition expert. Her practice is in Mamaroneck
and she can be reached at karen.dolins@gmail.com

If you are interested in writing as a guest blogger,
please contact Dr Engelland at engelland@aol.com

Not a day goes by that I don't speak to a teen who has at least
considered taking supplements in order to enhance performance
or looks. This brief blog entry offers some simple, wise advice:

In my practice in Mamaroneck and with Columbia University athletes, I see plenty of kids and teens reaching for protein powders, experimenting with creatine, and other supplements in their attempts to gain weight and lean body mass. It scares me. It scares me because these types of dietary supplements are generally not studied in kids under 18. That means that your kids are experimenting on themselves.

There’s been tons of research on the purported benefits of protein powders. The consensus among scientists is clear: protein powders are no more effective than any other source of calories. What’s disturbing is that the dietary supplement industry is largely unregulated as a result of the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). Quality control varies, and laboratory analyses find varying levels of active ingredients along with other, potentially dangerous, ingredients that aren’t listed on the label.

What I tell kids trying to bulk up is simple: eat 6 times a day, don’t skip meals, be sure to fuel your workout with a pre-exercise snack, and follow your workout with recovery foods. It can be as simple as having a bowl of cereal with milk, and it works every time.

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