Fitness Corner: Supplement alternatives

Texans nutritionist Roberta Anding is back for another nutrition installment of Fitness Corner. Join in by shooting over an e-mail to fitness@houstontexans.com.

A lot of my friends take supplements before they lift everyday after school, they take creatine, and amino acids, and I was wondering if by taking these if there going to harmful effects down the road for them?

-- Nick Gniadek

Dear Nick,

                     **3 oz chicken breast                                    Amino acid supplement

**

Tryptophan 390mg

Tryptophan .55mg

Threonine 1412mg

Threonine 35mg

Isoleucine 1765mg

Isoleucine 24mg

Leucine 2509mg

Leucine 52mg

Lysine 2836mg

Lysine 169mg

Methionine 925mg

Methionine 9mg

Cystine 428mg

Cystine .55mg

Phenyalanine 1328mg

Phenyalanine 37mg

Tyrosine 1128mg

Tyrosine 6mg

Valine 1659mg

Valine 41mg

Arginine 2015mg

Arginine 129mg

Histidine 1037mg

Histidine 11mg

Alanine 1823mg

Alanine 160mg

So which is best? The three-ounce chicken breast wins hands down. So instead of an amino acid supplement, try real food first and save your money! Additionally, dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, so what is on the label may not be what is in the product.

Creatine is a supplement that works for explosive sports and has been tested and studied in adults.[1] According to Dr. Joe Chorley in Sports Medicine at Texas Children's Hospital there are no long-term studies showing safety of this product for growing adolescents and until those are available this product should be avoided in young people under 18.[2]


[1] Krieder,RB Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptation. Mol Cell Biochem 2003;244:79-84.

[2] DesJardins, M. Supplement use in the adolescent athlete. Curr Sports Med Report. 2002; 1:369-73.

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