Supplements help build muscles faster

Supplements help build muscles faster


They’re becoming more and more popular, but most teenagers that ingest supplements don’t understand the chemical effects, let alone long-term effects, they are having on their body.

Strength and Conditioning teacher Matt Moore witnesses students taking supplements nearly on a daily basis. Through his experiences, Moore has noticed an increase in students taking supplements. He said that supplements are more common than when he first started teaching, and are progressively growing in popularity.

“When I was in high school protein was coming out and creatine was just coming out,” Moore said. “Now it’s crazy. There’s so much stuff out now.”

Many athletic teenage boys use them, but what are they exactly, and are they actually as beneficial as they are seen to be?

Supplements are everyday dietary needs that are usually consumed in the forms of a pill or liquid, such as vitamins and minerals. The Food and Drug Administration regulate the safety of the ingredients in supplements.

“The benefits are that they are going to replenish your muscles, help give you the things that you’re not getting in your diet, help your body and your muscles recover,” Moore said.

Both positives and negative effects come from supplements. Each supplement has a unique effect on the body.

“The downside of it is there’s a lot of false advertisement,” Moore said. “There are kids who don’t really look into what they’re going to get out of them and they take then because it’ll make [them] bigger, faster, stronger.”

Physical Education teacher and Athletic Trainer Shannon Gier agrees that students need to have a wide knowledge of the supplement before taking them.

“Not all the supplements that they’re taking have to be tested and cleared by the FDA. They could say that they’re all natural but there could be substances in there that could be harmful as well,” Gier said.

Supplements are largely used as a replacement for food (often accidentally), which on occasion is a healthy substitute if one is running low on time, but can result in malnourishment if done longer-term.

Sophomore Brook Pecka said he has been taking protein for about three months. He said he usually buys his supplements from GNC or Complete Nutrition, and the protein has many effects on him.

“I don’t feel so hungry at lunch sometimes,” Pecka said.

Heavily using supplements has been reported to become addictive, often similar to the addiction of painkillers. However, Gier doesn’t think that is likely.

“If it’s just a regular supplement, there shouldn’t be something in there that’s causing an addictive factor, but again if you don’t know what’s in it, that’s where it becomes an issue,” Gier said.

Junior Alex Beckham said he has occasionally taken supplements for over a year, and sees the effective side of supplements. His body recovers from workouts faster, and said he takes them to help him build muscles faster.

“I don’t take them regularly, just once in a while,” Beckham said.

Moore agrees that supplements can help the body recover from workouts.

“When you’re lifting weights you’re tearing your muscle fibers down. Those supplements help increase or quicken the recovery process,” Moore said.

When taken in appropriate amounts, supplements can be a healthy way for athletes to receive the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Hailey Stolze
Website Editor-in-Chief and West Wind Commentary Editor