Local student football players are less than a week away from two-a-day practices which mark the beginning of the season and are designed to get them in shape. Some of them may choose to boost their performance with diet supplements – and doctors are worried. Steroid use at the high school level has received plenty of attention – but local heart doctors say a even bigger problem may be dietary supplements – specifically Ephedrine – a stimulant that can be purchased almost anywhere. Some athletes may add dietary supplements with Ephedrine to their workouts – and that has local heart doctors concerned.
Dr. George Rodgers says the human heart can take a little bit of stimulation, but if it gets overly stimulated, a dangerous combination is created when you mix in that over stimulation with the hot Texas sun and the rigor of two-a-day football practices. Rodgers says the danger is very real. Part of the problem is the supplements are marketed as energy boosters – and not hard to! find. Rodgers wants students and parents to be more educated about Ephedrine – and hopes the university interscholastic league will step in.