ERIC Number: ED394922
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Herbal Energizers: Speed By Any Other Name.
Jenkins, Andrew P.
This guide focuses on over-the-counter (OTC) stimulants sold to high school aged athletes and dieters as "herbal energizers," food supplements, and fatigue reducers. While advertising often makes them appear healthful and harmless, all of these stimulants belong in the class "sympathomimetic amines," so called because they mimic the sympathetic nervous system hormones. The paper discusses how these stimulants work, indicates which drugs are contained in various OTC stimulants, and lists adverse affects. Sports testing limits for amateur athletes are outlined, as well as advertising ploys to make OTC stimulants appealing, particularly to younger users. Concerns for teachers, parents, and youth coaches include: (1) teen athletes are particularly susceptible to persuasive marketing and claims as well as to overuse syndromes; (2) teenage girls are at the highest risk to anorexia and bulimia nervosa and overuse of diet aids; (3) terms like "herbal,""natural," and "no caffeine" are used to give a false sense of security; (4) there is a lack of control of over distribution, sale, and use of these products by minors; and (5) combination of symptoms and conditions associated with stimulants as well as the combined (synergistic) effects of OTC stimulants and caffeine can be fatal. Suggested actions include educating adults and teens on marketing ploys and on the effects and risks of using OTC stimulants. Also, concerned adults can request gyms and stores to place these dangerous stimulants out of reach of minors and to voluntarily agree to sell them only to adults. A list of resource organizations is included. (Contains 21 references.) (ND)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Caffeine; Food Supplements; Herbs