In fact, it’s not only that athletes want to experience this in their sports but they’re also feeling the pressures to do so from the media, the Internet, friends, competitors, and coaches and that why some need drug addiction treatment.
The pressure can easily lead to addictions and eventually having to go through drug detox and substance abuse treatment. This two part article series will cover supplements in this article and steroids in the following article.
The compulsive behavior that is at the root of addiction is often the subject of drug addiction treatment and therapy. Undoing compulsive behavior is frequently at the center of healing from addiction.
Addiction for Athletes
One local athlete of Westlake Village demonstrated this compulsive behavior. At first, he simply wanted to feel better about himself and he thought exercise would do it. As he began to see his weight drop and his performance improve, he developed a regular schedule of lifting weights and taking supplements.
Although he has stayed away from steroids, he admits to having a compulsive relationship to working out and performing well.
And this is usually how it begins. The compulsive behavior towards exercise can translate into having a compulsive relationship with drugs, such as steroids, and addictive supplements. According to the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine approximately 24 to 29 percent of athletes use supplements to increase their sports performances.
These supplements, however, do not yet have evidence for their effectiveness. Many supplements advertise their benefits, but it’s important to know that their effectiveness and safety do not have to be confirmed before they become available for sale.
Some of These Supplements Include:
- Beta-Alanine is supposed to improve high-intensity exercise performance. However, evidence is not sufficient to prove this.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids are intended to delay fatigue and boost the immune system. According to research, this supplement can provide fuel for endurance but it has not been shown to delay fatigue. Research is still underway to determine whether it boosts the immune system.
- Caffeine claims to help burn fat, protect carbohydrate stores, and make you feel energized. It is true that caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and can increase alertness, however, it does not appear to have the ability to burn fat during exercise. In fact, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned caffeine if too high an amount is found in an athlete’s urine sample.
- Carnitine is supposed to help an athlete burn fat. However, it does not increase fat burning when used as a supplement.
- Chromium Picolinate is a mineral found in foods that is supposed to aid in weight loss and body composition changes. There is currently insufficient support for these claims and it might cause damage.
- Creatine reports to be able to increase lean body mass, strength, and performance. Research indicates positive results and that the claims of this supplement are true for those who respond to it well. However, there are some athletes who do not experience a result from taking it. It appears to be a safe supplement for athletes.
- Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) claims to increase endurance and promote fat burning. However, research indicates that it does not enhance endurance and it is not recommended.
- Pyruvate also claims to increase endurance and promote fat burning. However, research indicates that it does not enhance endurance and there is insufficient evidence for weight loss.
Despite the false claims of these supplements, they are at least the legal options that athletes have. The illegal option is the use of steroids, which is a felony when taken without a prescription. Although these supplements are legal, some can serve as a gateway to steroids and other addictive drugs.
Eventually, drug detox might be a necessity in order to continue to perform, and in these cases, finding the right drug addiction treatment center becomes the priority before playing any sports.
The pressure to perform and to look good can keep athletes hooked on supplements that might not be healthy and that have not been proven to be effective, this is why drug addiction treatment can be useful for some athletes. The next article in this series will cover steroids and the danger it has for athletes.
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