Are muscle building supplements safe for teens?

Recent studies have demonstrated that it is not only safe for children to engage in resistance training, but it is also beneficial with regard to injury prevention. While I recommend that we get our nutrition from the foods we eat so supplements are not necessary, it is indeed safe for teens to take muscle building supplements. However, you have to be careful. Not all supplements are created equal.

If your teen or college student is an athlete, it is important that the supplement meet the NCAA guidelines. dotFit has developed a product specifically for youth through college age called First String, which falls into these guidelines. First String satisfies the established criteria of a pre- and post- exercise/activity meal needed to maximize training response, thereby leading to greater gains in strength, size and/or performance and competition outcomes. For more information on this and other supplements, visit
How many teens do you know that actually eat properly?


The key is to first show them how to eat properly. Not only will it help them reach their goals now but it will set them up for proper habits the rest of their lives. Teens are generally after one or two things. Lose weight or improve performance.

Parents should hire a coach for their teens and have that coach show them how to exercise and eat well for their particular goals. Supplements for teens are fine but not needed. In my opinion the supplements best for teens are a good multi vitamin, protein replacement or bar (to replace a meal as I recommend teens eat 5 to 6 times per day) and an antioxidant and or calcium to keep bones strong and recover from exercise and stress.

Most teens just need to eat better but many can benefit from supplements if safe and guided appropriately by a coach. Start first with the nutrition aspect.
Certain supplements are safe for teenagers to take that will help them in trying to bulk up. Supplements like protein shakes, weight gainer shakes, and multivitamins are safe and will provide teenagers with the raw materials and nutrients to allow them to push themselves hard in their workouts and add muscle through good nutrition and hard work.  
Most supplements out there are safe but there are some that are not. If your teen is going to take supplements, just make sure you do research on the product they want to use to make sure it is safe. However, I am not a big advocate of supplements for teens. We want to show our children how to eat properly without having to take supplements. With proper nutrition, there is no reason why a teen must take a supplement. Supplements should only be taken when their diet falls short in that day and not be a meal replacement like most people use it for. Bottom line, if you must give your child supplements, do the research to make sure they are safe.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.