Supplement use in Athletes and the Average Joe

When you first hear the term “meathead” or “gym rat”, you immediately think of a guy who spends hours at the gym in the morning, followed by hours at the club at night, and probably cant count to twelve. While that may have been true a number of years ago, it is not so much the case now. Take Dr. Shawn Arent for example. Dr.Arent is an Associate Professor in the Kinesiology and Health department at Rutgers University while also serving as the Director of the Kinesiology and Applied Physiology Graduate Program also at Rutgers.

One of Dr.Arent’s studies that really intrigued me was his study that is titled “The Psychology of Supplementation in Sport and Exercise: Motivational Antecedents and Bio-behavioral Outcomes” which was conducted in 2015. The study was about the “physiological and bio-behavioral effects of supplements commonly used In sport and exercise”. Most people have the idea that taking supplements is a replacement for hard work. People think that they can just take supplements instead of actually doing the work. But that is far from the case. Supplements are made for, as their name might suggest, is to supplement the hard work.

In the study, it starts off by saying, “Over the last decade, there have been numerous high profile cases of athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs(PED) and claiming it was due to a tainted supplement”. This sort of hit home for me because my favorite football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, recently had one of their best players suspended for 10 out of 16 games for testing positive for a PED. This goes back to what Dr.Arent was saying about being vigilant about what you are putting in your body. Most supplement companies do not list the illegal substances in them because, well, they are illegal. Although, there is a difference of being illegal, and being illegal for a certain sport. Dr.Arent said, “There are certain athletes, like baseball players, that will not use supplements unless they are approved by the league.” Athletes are scared of putting illegal substances In their body that could get them suspended, which hurts the team and that players wallet.



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