Young athletes can improve their sports performance by focusing on the basics: fluids, calories, training, conditioning, and rest. Shortcuts, such as the use of performance-enhancing substances and supplements, are of little benefit and can be dangerous.
Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about nutrition and performance-enhancing substances and supplements for athletes.
For more information about sports nutrition, visit the US Department of Agriculture Web site at https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/lifecycle-nutrition/fitness-and-sports-nutrition/nutrition-athletes.
Parents and athletes need to be aware that dietary supplements are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Studies looking at the purity of supplements find high rates of contamination with possibly harmful substances. Also, many products do not contain the ingredients listed on the label.
Young athletes sometimes take protein supplements or nucleic acid supplements (creatine) to help their sports performance. However, studies have not shown these supplements help improve sports...