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THE INSIDE STORY
April 07, 2003
What's in that pill you're about to pop or that drink you're ready to chug? A guide to some common ingredients in sports supplements and their potential dangers
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April 07, 2003

The Inside Story

What's in that pill you're about to pop or that drink you're ready to chug? A guide to some common ingredients in sports supplements and their potential dangers

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EPHEDRA

An extract of the Chinese plant ma huang that stimulates cardiovascular and central nervous systems

FOUND IN
Weight-loss, energy-boosting and bodybuilding products, including Stacker 2 and Metabolite 356

POTENTIAL RISKS
Can cause elevated blood pressure. When taken in excessive doses or by people with certain medical conditions, can result in cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, seizure or stroke

WHO BANS IT
NFL, NCAA, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, which oversees Olympic drug testing)

CREATINE

Natural compound created from three amino acids; produced by the liver and kidneys and used by muscles and organs as an energy source

FOUND IN
Supplements designed to increase muscle mass and build strength and endurance, such as Simply Creatine and Creatine Candy; also in red meat and some fish

POTENTIAL RISKS
Can cause dehydration, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and muscle and ligament tears

WHO BANS IT
No governing body

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