There are different types of supplements that are aimed at bodybuilders and elite sportspeople who participate in lifting or strength-based events. Some supplements are aimed at increasing muscle mass, while others are aimed at increasing performance and ensuring that the body is getting all the nutrients and anti-oxidants it needs.
Creatine is probably the most well-known supplement associated with bodybuilders, it enables athletes to train harder and lift heavier weights. Creatine is widely regarded as a safe supplement but it can cause allergies and side-effects in some people so it is important to read the labels carefully before you take it.
Are health supplements safe?
In many cases, athletes and body builders can benefit from taking health supplements. Increasing the amount of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals you take in will make a significant difference to your general health, especially if you are training for many hours a day and your diet is not providing your body with all the nutrients it needs. Intensive training increases the amount of free radicals produced by the body and taking anti-oxidants can help to negate the activity of these free radicals.
Some supplements are not safe, often supplements that are designed to build muscle mass, therefore you should make sure you choose products that have been approved and regulated. Always read the labels and stick to the recommended guidelines for dosages, always choose products which have information about the quantity of different ingredients and talk to your GP about taking supplements before you start taking pills or using powders.
Beware of bogus supplements, which claim to improve performance and often say that they are the best or only way of building muscle, talk to other bodybuilders about supplements and seek medical advice before you start taking supplements.
Dangers of anabolic steroids
Sometimes, when an athlete wants to bulk up and build muscle as quickly as possible they start taking anabolic steroids; anabolic steroids can have very serious health implications and side-effects, including:
● Hair loss
● Decreased sperm count
● Liver damage
● Shrinking testicles
● Increase the size of the heart muscle (hypertrophy)
● Increased facial hair in women
● Mood swings