Friday, February 29, 2008

okay--those freaks in california have gone TOO FAR

[from cyclingnews.com]
MTB league bans caffeine for High School athletes
The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, which recently released a new rule book for its 2008 racing season, is banning the consumption of caffeine at their competitions. The stance is motivated by concerns for high school athletes' health, as well as in response to a tremendous surge of new caffeinated energy products and related marketing seen thus far in the 2000's.
Over the past few years, the League has seen an increase in caffeine usage amongst its athletes; some even strategising with timed consumption of caffeinated products on the final lap of a race. This is a "performance-enhancement-based mentality" the League would like to nip in the bud.
There are also health-related concerns associated with teenagers' caffeine consumption. Dr. Richard Stein, director of preventative cardiology at New York's Beth Israel Medical Center and a representative for the American Heart Association said, "What five years ago was considered outrageous doses of caffeine is now well within the range of expected doses. We will soon find out the effects of prolonged usage in high doses starting at an early age. In the past, that's always been a formula for poor health and mental outcomes." The bottom line is that research has yet to demonstrate that a high amount of caffeine intake is safe for young people.
For Matt Fritzinger, League founder and director, "the conversation began when I was approached for the second time by 'Brand X'. ‘Brand X' said themselves that youth, originally, were not in their marketing plan – but that 'Brand Y' (a leading coffee shop franchise) changed their minds. The marketing representative made it clear, they wanted 'product in hand.' I realized this is a lot like the cigarette industry was; they get the free samples out there, and then they can count on a percentage of life-long addicts. Though less harmful than cigarettes, the strategy is the same."
Fritzinger' concerns were fuelled by a changing attitude within the racing scene. "Over the next couple years I spoke with many high school athletes and coaches," he continued. "Some athletes admitted they were already 'addicted' to certain energy drinks, and I found that coaches were supportive of the ban."
Although there cannot be a test for caffeine consumption in races, Fritzinger trusts the proper guidance of the athletes will ultimately bear fruit. "There have been questions about enforcement. It's true that we do not have a test, but nor can we afford a test for steroids or EPO. However, we have a 3-to-1 ratio of dedicated adults working with the athletes, and with good coaching and education kids usually make the right decisions. On the other hand, those who try to get a boost, might get penalized if we find the wrong products during our random pocket-checks."
[can they DO that?--the rev]
Guarana Root, Taurine and Creatine have also been banned. The text of the entire rule book is available at www.norcalmtb.org/race/rules.htm

8 comments:

Neve_r_est said...

I'm all for personal rights and all, but I agree that they should be concerned with excessive caffiene use.

After reading up a few articles here:
http://www.pe2000.com/caffeine.htm

and here:
http://www.kudzumonthly.com/kudzu/aug01/caffeine.html

And then connecting them to my experiences with my personality how my body behaves after being a gallon a day tea drinker for the past 20 odd years, it all adds up.

I can definitely see a coralation between the increased caffine consumption and early onset diabetes, leading into obesity, as well as a slew of the mental disorders common in kids these days.

DG

Anonymous said...

Elders, too.

I challenge any reader to find someone that does not think Kim has mental disorders.

bryan said...

Sorry, Rev -- I'm all for this one. I have a 15-year-old cousin (well, my wife's cousin) who pounds lattes and espressos with regularity. And Red Bull is now equal to a Mountain Dew for kids. Red Bull makes me twitchy, and I'm old.

That's basically my only argument. Red Bull makes me twitchy.

the mostly reverend said...

no one speaks out about random pocket checks?

look, i think it's great that high school kids nowadays are outside doing anything. i don't understand why kids--or adults--would want to consume THAT much caffeine or other stimulants. but why totally ban the stuff? people, including kids, consume caffeine and other stimulants.

perhaps parents should PARENT their children, and try to either monitor, regulate, or otherwise control or influence what and how much of that shit they consume.

and relatives should do the same: exert some positive influence.

we're not talking about fat kids sitting around playing video games and downing this shit; we're talking about kids on bikes racing.

BIG difference, folks.

you, too, bryan--is your little cousin a chubbo, or a geeked-out toothless mullet-wearer? show a little love and guidance, and take him out on a bike ride, and show him what NATURAL stimulants--endorphines--are like.

caffeine's just a kick start.

that sugar shit rots your teeth. that's why i drink my coffee black, fool.

and anonymous, you deal with your sleep disorders as you like, and i'll toast mine with high octane joe.

Steve Fuller said...

I personally think that this is a good thing for a couple of reasons. First, this is a high school mountain bike league. If anyone there trying to market things blatantly, I think that's bad. Before anyone says anything, I know almost all high schools have Pepsi or Coke logos on their soda cups they sell at events.

Second is the statement that the kids are taking this stuff out on the course, figuring that it gives them a performance edge. I might be naive, but I see that as a bad precedent.

Bruce Brown said...

I figure if they ban the "energy drinks" containing the high doses of caffeine, the kids will just munch a few No-Doz tablets instead. At least that will cut down on tooth decay. '-]

bryan said...

rev -- well, SHE is an overscheduled and rushed little junior achiever -- thanks to her parents, mainly. But the message being sent -- get all of this shit done because it really matters, but don't worry about things like sleep and staying healthy -- is troubling to me. Maybe because I'm a slacker ...

I've taken her running. Didn't take. And there's no time for cycling -- her schedule is full.

bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.