I am relatively new to triathlon, having picket it up after a couple of stress fractures. I come from a running background, and was suprised by the overwhelming amount of performance enhancing supplments in the sport. It seems every time I pick up a tri. magazine, there are articles and ads proclaiming the remarkable benefits of another blend of "enhancers." I have always been one to down an espresso before a long effort and use gels with a little caffine, and recently have gone as far as trying out a bottle of "5 hour energy" which contains taurine and some other ingredients.
I guess my question is two-fold: Are these supplements really good for us and our sport? More importantly, what kind of message are we sending to kids?
I coach high school cross-country and always caution kids against this type of supplementation. But, the use of these performance enhancers is so pervasive that I think we may be sending the wrong message. How can we tell kids to find a performance edge in a drink, shake or pill and not expect many of them to move on to illegal substances at higher levels of competetition?
I would love to read any of your thoughts.