Creatine: In the news
Last modified: Thursday, 26. March 2009 - 5:20 am
What do home run king Mark McGwire, French tennis champ Mary Pierce, international soccer star Zinedine Zidane, British sprinter Linford Christie, and NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe all have in common? All have spoken openly to the media about their use of creatine supplements in athletic training.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, a trade publication of the dietary supplement industry, sales of performance-enhancing nutritional supplements skyrocketed when McGwire spoke publicly of his creatine and androstenedione (andro) use during the media blitz surrounding his 70 single-season home-run hitting streak in the 1998 major league baseball season. The professional athlete as role model is a time-honored tradition in the U.S., and corporations such as McDonald’s and General Mills scrambled to sign up McGwire to endorse Wheaties and Big Macs following his record-breaking season.
The full impact that the well-publicized use of supplements by sports icons has had on young athletes worldwide is difficult to determine. A 2000 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 73% of 10-17 year olds surveyed cited a famous athlete as someone they looked up to or wanted to be like. And while 55% were aware of Mark McGwire’s use of andro, only 5% reported ever having purchased a dietary supplement because of a famous athlete. Yet the fact remains that performance-enhancing supplement use is at an all-time high among America’s youth.