Supplements for Athletes Case Study 3 pages

Supplements for Athletes

Ripped Fuel © is a weight loss supplement used widely by individuals who are trying to improve their physical and athletic performance (Brown). These capsules are utilized as a method of rapidly burning fat, while quickly gaining muscle; they are popular among athletes because of this. The supplements work in a way that allows the burning of fat — which is the most difficult part of body shaping — to occur in a rapid fashion. Desired results are achieved in a limited amount of time, therefore adding to the appeal of this supplement to young athletes who are just beginning their journey through sports and are essentially attempting to make themselves stand out from the hundreds of other athletes. However, the components of these supplements have been of great concern due to their potential undesired effects (Brown). Despite the glorious results that the particular coach at hand has promised his teenage athlete, Ripped Fuel © has been questioned due to the possible negative consequences that are produced by its ingredients.

Ripped Fuel © contains an herb called ephedrine (Brown). This works by immediately tightening the individual’s blood vessels in order to reduce the amount of blood that flows through them. By doing this, the heart gets stimulated, as it is forced to work harder in order to make up for the lack of blood flow to it (Brown). The immediate results are a boost in energy and performance. However, the results after prolonged use can result in hypertension, or high blood pressure, and tachycardia, or an irregular heartbeat (Brown). Another ingredient in this supplement is Guarana, which has caffeine as its main active component. That is, the fruit itself is guarana, but the ingredient that actually makes it effective and work as a stimulant is caffeine (Brown). Caffeine stimulates brain processes in order to speed up reaction times; it also provides a rapid burning of fat as the metabolism of cells is increased. The increase in psychomotor ability is the immediate result, but a risk of high blood pressure can result if used consistently (Brown).

The last two active ingredients in the supplement Ripped Fuel © are l-carntine and chromium. These two agents are proteins that are able to dispose of adipose cells in order to attain rapid weight loss (Brown). These ingredients also serve as disposal agents for glucose. Glucose provides quick energy for cells to function, but it also is quickly converted into fat reserve by the body if not immediately used (Brown). Both l-carntine and chromium break down these glucose molecules in order to get rid of them faster. The immediate result is potential weight loss due to the ability of these agents to get rid of the fat cells, however, the long-term results are relatively unknown since extended studies have not been conducted (Brown).

Although the athletic success of the nephew is the main concern here, his health will suffer if these supplements are taken at such an early age. At the age of fifteen, his body is still growing. His hormone levels are still balancing out, and his growth is dependent on the nutrients that he provides his body with. If he consumes Ripped Fuel © in order to increase his athletic performance, he may be overextending the physical ability of his body. He is putting himself at risk for heart failure. Since the active ingredients increase heart rate as a way of providing the muscles with more blood, prolonged use and consistent stimulation exhaust the heart. He will reach a point where the supplements will enable his body to continue pumping excessive amounts of blood that he may not be able to handle once the use of these supplements is stopped. His age is a huge component in the potential effects that these supplements can have on his body. Most detrimental is the ephedrine, which has been banned by the FDA and the major professional sports leagues such as the NCAA and the NFL (OneResult, 2012). It is viewed as an unnatural performance-enhancing drug whose risks far outweigh the benefits. However, there are certified supplements that may not have the same extreme results, but that do aide in potentially improving one’s health, which eventually lead to better athletic performance. These can include energy bars, protein shakes, and approved vitamin capsules (OneResult, 2012). However they must not pass a certain amount of the daily protein intake, because that in itself can be considered a method of performance enhancement. Anything that can essentially harm the body is banned from use.

Aside from the dangers that exist among performance-enhancing supplements, lays the ethical issue of a high school coach selling these substances to his teenage sports team. Due to the high increase in the number of people who have reported harm to their bodies from Ripped Fuel ©, the coach should not be selling these capsules. Ethically, he should have a bigger concern for the health of his team, and not their performance or ability to win. He also needs to consider the age of his students and the fact that he needs to have permission from the parents at the very least if he decides to continue to sell these substances. Healthier alternatives to Ripped Fuel © could include, as aforementioned, energy and protein bars, natural fruit and vegetable drinks, muscle milk, vitamin capsules, and/or protein shakes. These alternatives are all capable of providing enhancement to the body’s function, without necessarily causing all of the damaging effects associated with the use of Ripped Fuel ©.


Brown, E. (2011). What do ripped fuel capsules do? LIVESTRONG. Retrieved 22 April 2013 from ipped-fuel-capsules-do/

OneResult. (2012). NCAA Legal and Illegal Supplements. ONERESULT: Look Like an Athlete. Retrieved 22 April 2013 from -legal-and-illegal-supplements

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