Yes. It is nothing new for kids to want to get ahead in athletics. And there can be a lot of pressure on kids to do everything possible to gain an edge. While protein and other supplements can be helpful, they do not come without a risk. Please monitor your kid’s use of these products as they can have undesirable side effects.
From greatschools.org, “Studies indicate that as many as 40 percent of all young athletes take protein enhancements, which are available in forms ranging from bars to shakes to powders. While teens may take the supplement in order to improve muscle growth, muscle recovery, and overall athletic performance, there is no evidence that supplements are any more “enhancing” than a nutritious diet. In fact, such supplements can have harmful effects, such as weight gain, muscle cramping, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Creatine, which is found in many products, can actually interfere with a growing adolescent’s own natural production of creatine, making the body reliant on supplements. Overuse can actually cause blood acidity, which then draws calcium from the bones to counteract the higher acidity of pH in the blood, leading to declining bone strength and kidney stones formed by excess calcium. Advertisements for protein enhancements are ubiquitous in sports magazines, and the substances will likely continue to be popular because of the high protein to low carbohydrate and fat ratio, but parents and athletic coaches should monitor their use and encourage a healthy diet for teen athletes.”
From WebMD, “CREATINE SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY
Creatine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately for up to 5 years.
When taken by mouth in high doses, creatine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. There is some concern that it could harm the kidney, liver, or heart function. However, a connection between high doses and these negative effects has not been proven. Creatine can also cause stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramping.
Creatine causes muscles to draw water from the rest of your body. Be sure to drink extra water to make up for this. Also, if you are taking creatine, don’t exercise in the heat. It might cause you to become dehydrated.
Many people who use creatine gain weight. This is because creatine causes the muscles to hold water, not because it actually builds muscle.
There is some concern that combining creatine with caffeine and the herb ephedra (also called Ma Huang) might increase the chance of having serious side effects such as stroke.
There is concern that creatine might cause irregular heartbeat in some people. But more information is needed to know if creatine can cause this problem.
There is concern that creatine might cause a skin condition called pigmented purpuric dermatosis in some people. But more information is needed to know if creatine can cause this problem.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking creatine if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Creatine is POSSIBLY SAFE in children when taken by mouth appropriately. 2-5 grams of creatine daily has been taken safely for 2-6 months.
Bipolar disorder: There have been cases of manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder who took creatine daily for 4 weeks. Creatine might make mania worse in people with bipolar disorder.
Kidney disease or diabetes: Do not use creatine if you have kidney disease or a disease such as diabetes that increases your chance of developing kidney disease. There is some concern that creatine might make kidney disease worse.”