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Essay on Nutritional Supplements and Athletics

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The scene is set. It is 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and the final heat of the Olympics is about to commence. The sprinters have been training their entire lives for the opportunity at hand, and the outcome of the most important event of their lives is going to come down to mere milliseconds. With a gold medal on the line, these athletes will be looking for any advantage they can get, whether big or small. One direction these athletes turn for an advantage is supplements. Supplements have emerged as a way for athletes to increase their performance, yet their use is very controversial. Supplements, varying from simple multivitamins to complex chemical supplements, are used by almost every athlete, whether recreational or professional,…show more content…
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Supplements are defined in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (SDHEA) as:
“a product, intended to supplement the diet, that contains one or more of the following dietary ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb, or other botanical; an amino acid; a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of these ingredients; 2) is intended for ingestion in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap or liquid form; 3) is not represented for use as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet; and 4) is labeled as a dietary supplement.” (3) Supplements have become very popular in the United States. Americans want a cure-all for their health problems, and supplements have become the point where they are turning. In fact, it is approximated forty percent of Americans use supplements. (1) Even more astoundingly, a survey conducted between 2003 and 2006 established fifty-four percent of American adults use some strain of supplements. This large demand from Americans, and, in particular, athletes, has created a booming business for supplements in the US. It is supposed nearly twenty-seven billion dollars were spent on supplements in 2009, with roughly thirty-five percent of that figure being specifically vitamin supplements. Because
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