Whether you’re looking at pre-workout for an extra boost of energy during your gym session or a fat burner to help shake those extra few inches around your waist – it’s normal to have concerns.
You’re probably wondering, is it safe to take exercise supplements? Am I putting my health at risk?
Not to worry! You don’t need to compromise your health to look your best.
The answers to these questions all depend on the specific type of supplements and their ingredients.
Let’s look at the health risks of different sports supplements, and how you can make an informed decision when choosing one.
Types of Workout Supplements
Before we get into things, let’s quickly look at what’s inside different types of dietary supplements.
Dietary supplements may contain:
- Vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, folic acid, etc.)
- Minerals (calcium, magnesium, etc.)
- Amino acids (building blocks of protein)
- Botanical products or herbs
- Glandular extracts
- Organ products
Below we’ll take a look at popular sports supplements and what you need to be aware of.
Protein powders are one of the most popular muscle-building supplements for gym-goers.
It’s claimed that they help enhance your body’s muscle growth, increase your metabolism (aiding fat loss), help you reach your optimal physical performance, boost energy and even slow down ageing.
Protein shakes might be convenient, and an easy alternative to cooking real meals but not all of them are suitable as a regular meal replacement.
This is because they lack the necessary vitamins and minerals that you would normally get from a balanced meal.
The health risk of becoming reliant on protein powder instead of simply eating protein-rich foods is vitamin deficiency.
You definitely want to avoid this, as deficiencies can cause a host of nasty health issues.
There’s also evidence that consuming excessive protein in the long term can cause osteoporosis and kidney problems.
The good news: You can still reap the awesome benefits of protein powder if you use one from a reputable brand with quality ingredients.
And of course, continue eating a balanced diet of whole foods!
Fat Loss Supplements
Why can weight loss pills be dangerous?
Taking dietary supplements is usually harmless, and can be effective at controlling your appetite, burning fat, and boosting your metabolism.
But some of the popular ingredients in weight loss supplements have been banned due to dangerous side effects like these:
- Increased heart rate and high blood pressure
- GI problems
- Kidney problems
- Liver damage
- Cardiovascular disease
It goes without saying that taking an excessive dose of diet supplements, (even vitamin supplements), or combining supplements can be extremely harmful.
An overdose of stimulant products commonly found in fat burners could cause you a lot of unnecessary health problems.
Top Tip: Do your research before taking any kind of fat-loss supplement. Look for a good product, like OxyShred – and don’t go overboard with the dosage!
A good pre-workout supplement can do wonders for your athletic performance and endurance.
But not all pre-workouts are equal, and some could do more harm than good.
Over the years, companies have been called out for spiking their pre-workout supplements with dangerous ingredients (sometimes illegal).
If you feel it’s necessary to get a little help in the gym from pre-workout, it’s important that you find a brand that’s transparent with its ingredients.
When it comes to taking these kinds of supplements, less is really more.
For example, caffeine is commonly used in pre-workout powders but could lead to potential side effects if you take too much.
A caffeine overdose can make you feel jittery and anxious.
People who suffer from heart problems should be extra cautious when taking supplements.
People tend to think that there’s a magic powder or dietary supplement that will give them the body of their dreams.
But there’s no better substitute for a healthy diet, hard work and commitment.
If you are trying to lose weight, build muscles, get toned, or increase your athletic abilities you can still benefit from taking supplements without the concern of health risks.
It all comes down to being mindful of what you are putting into your body.
Compare trusted supplement brands and products, and always read the labels carefully.
If you ever feel uncertain about whether a product will be suitable for you, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider first.
Go and smash those goals!