Building body or gaining muscle? But at what cost..?
Bodybuilding, or working out and following a strict nutritional diet to achieve the perfect physical structure, is both art and science. While lifting heavy weights and engaging in other fat-burning and muscle revealing exercise is an important part of the discipline, eating the right way, right things may be an even bigger challenge.
However, in order to achieve bigger gains and that too within very less time, some of the bodybuilders turn to nutritional supplements for assistance. Rémy Leigh Peters, a registered dietitian nutritionist, says that some bodybuilders will consider it shortcut by seeking out “muscle gaining supplements and powders” to achieve these goals. But that might not always be the best way to go.
Its requires good amount of awareness of the supplements to be taken and also the precautions to be kept in mind as there might be chances that some can negatively interact with other medicines you may be taking. Some of these have also been found to contain Anabolic Steroids,which may build muscle very quickly just opposite to normal growth but can also have various dangerous or unpleasant side effects (as mentioned by me in my other post of Steroids)
Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements
Multivitamin and mineral supplements are commonly consumed by bodybuilders. Yet most healthy adults who eat a varied diet don’t really need a multivitamin because a healthy diet should supply an adequate amount of necessary nutrients. Some nutritionists and doctors recommend everyone take a multivitamin, while others some of them say that it’s a waste of cash as nutrients from whole foods in your diet are much more beneficial than swallowing a pill every day.
However, if you follow a restrictive diet, or your diet is not such healthy as in your meals does’t contain all the essential nutrients required for perfect functioning of your body, then you might need to consider adding a broad spectrum multivitamin to ensure you’re covering all your bases.
To select a good multivitamin, look for USP verification. The USP Verified Mark means the product inside matches the label’s claims on the outside and does not contain contaminants.
Supplements which need to be avoided
Various medical institutions have mentioned that several supplement products in particular can be unsafe, but are widely available and used by some bodybuilders. You might want to reconsider on using some of the below supplements:
- Zinc/magnesium aspartate.
Creatine is an amino acid produced by the body. It has been found that creatine can enhance the effects of exercise on muscle growth and endurance, but as its negative impacts it can also lead to water retention, cramping, diarrhea and nausea. The NIH has mentioned that creatine supplements may be safe for short-term use in healthy adults, but some medical institutes have also advised that it should be avoided by those younger than age 18 to enhance athletic performance.
Methyoxyisoflavone is marketed as an Anabolic steroid, which is said to increase muscle mass and also to increase the performance enhancement but without causing testosterone-like effects. Isoflavones are naturally occurring substances in soy and other foods that can impact hormonal functions. As already conveyed, consuming this substance for long and in high quantity will have various side effects which include acne, male-pattern baldness, prostate enlargement, and lower high-density lipoprotein (
HDL; “good”) cholesterol.
Used to boost energy, ZMA supplements contain zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6, which support the immune system and muscles. Again, evidence of the supplement’s effectiveness in boosting strength or muscle size is limited, as increasing levels of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 can boost testosterone levels, improve sleep quality and aid in recovery from exercise, but studies investigating these claims have led to indeterminate or mixed results.
Chromium or more specifically Trivalent Chromium often marketed as Chromium Picolinate, is one of the essential trace element that’s used by some people as a supplement. This supplement forms a compound in the body that seems to enhance the effects of Insulin and also lower glucose levels, leading to better circulation and a steadier blood sugar level. It’s thought that it can help with weight loss, replacing fat with lean muscle. But, yes, there’s not a whole lot of scientific evidences to support these claims.
And taking a chromium supplement can lead to side effects. Longer-term use of chromium supplements has been linked to kidney failure, liver damage and anemia etc Also some other side effects of chromium may include:
- Stomach upset.
- Elevated or irregular heart rate.
Take Medical advice (Nutritionist, Doctor) before taking any Health Supplements.
If you’re thinking about taking supplements to improve your athletic performance or get the perfect desirable body faster, talk with your doctor or a nutritionist or Fitness Expert about what you’re considering using and how to do so safely. Contaminants, drug interactions and underlying medical conditions can all impact how your body will react to common bodybuilding supplements that you may be tempted to try.
Before taking supplements for bodybuilding:
- Consider a good multivitamin from a reputed brand with the help/advice of a doctor/nutritionist.
- Limit the consumption of creatine, methoxyisoflavone, zinc/magnesium aspartate and chromium as explained their negative impacts.
- Be aware of contamination and overdosing (when people see drastic changes in their body e.g their size/muscles are increasing rapidly, they get addicted to take these supplies again & again without any limit causing them very serious effect on their health).
- Talk to a doctor or a nutritionist about possible interactions or medical conditions that may be impacted, if you are planning to go for a supplement.