Why sports supplements promote health (while drugs don’t)
In an endeavour as demanding and as exhausting as professional sports or bodybuilding, it is easy for an athlete to develop a mentality whereby he or she must take every advantage they can get. In terms of better nutrition, sleep hygiene, psychological readiness and sports supplements, such a mentality pays off. However, when the athlete is under pressure to take drugs in order to stay in line with the competition or to get an advantage in an upcoming event, the negative side-effects begin to outweigh any resulting benefits.
Thus, every athlete or bodybuilder will, at one point or another, be faced with a decision between supplements and drugs. If you find yourself in this situation, then the first thing to do is to tell the exact difference between the two.
A performance enhancing drug, commonly in the form of anabolic steroids or HGH (human growth hormone), is a synthetic version of one of the hormones naturally produced by the body. It contains active pharmaceutical ingredients and, in small doses, it can be used to ameliorate certain health conditions.
A sports supplement, on the other hand, contains no pharmaceutical ingredients. Instead, it comprises a number of natural ingredients found in a person’s ordinary diet. In combination, these are designed to prompt and help the body produce the hormone in question on its own. While not all sports supplements are as effective as steroids, the devastating effects the latter have on the athlete’s body should keep anyone looking to buff up away from drugs.
4 Reasons why you should use sports supplements over drugs
Anabolic steroids weaken the cardiovascular system
As mentioned before, most anabolic steroids can be used in small, therapeutic doses in order to improve certain health conditions. For example, to compensate for a significant deficiency, 70mg of testosterone per week might be prescribed for a young man suffering from testicular cancer. Bodybuilders using anabolic steroids, on the other hand, would require more than 700mg of the hormone per week, sometimes going up as high as 5000mg. A plethora of side-effects follow such steroid abuse.
To begin with, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that steroid abuse considerably weakens the cardiovascular system, upsetting the balance of cholesterol in the body and increasing the risk of cardiomyopathy, blood coagulation abnormalities, left ventricular hypertrophy and myocardial ischemia. While some of these might recede when the athlete comes off the drug, others, such as cardiomyopathy and atherosclerosis, are usually permanent. This is believed to be one of the main causes of premature death among young athletes and bodybuilders.
- Anabolic steroids wreak havoc on the liver
Although it may seem difficult to believe, the hepatic system is even more affected by steroids than the cardiovascular. Indeed, most likely due to the fact that the liver is charged with repeatedly cleansing the body of steroids, liver tumours, hepatocellular adenomas, peliosis hepatitis and liver damage are all common in athletes who abuse drugs. For those with pre-existing liver diseases, an even higher risk exists for developing the conditions above. Fatigue, nausea, a loss of appetite and overall weakness are only some of the symptoms associated with liver damage.
- Use of anabolic steroids leads to diminished sexual function and to infertility
A fact as concrete as the effect of anabolic steroids on the liver is that drug abuse in athletes, both male and female, lowers sexual drive and induces infertility. In the case of men, for example, anabolic steroids flood the body with testosterone. As a reaction to this, the brain ceases all production of the hormone, in an attempt to lower the quantity of testosterone circulating in the blood. The issue with this is that there is no way for the synthetic testosterone to reach the testicles, where it would be used in the production of sperm. As such, infertility sets in, and may persist even after the athlete renounces the drug.
- Anabolic steroids change who you are
The body isn’t the only one affected by the abuse of anabolic steroids. Several studies have found that psychological and behavioural changes also occur in athletes and bodybuilders who take performance enhancing drugs. Predominantly, irritability and aggressiveness seems to be higher in those who abuse steroids, while social dysfunction, anxiety and depression were also reported. Generally, the mood and behavioural effects of performance enhancing drugs are believed to occur due to an upset balance of all other hormones in the body. In some cases, athletes also turned to drugs such as heroin and other opioids in order to manage the irritability and insomnia caused by anabolic steroids.
Sports Supplements with Real Results
Just because anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs ought to be off the table, this doesn’t mean that there are no options for you to take full advantage of your workout sessions. Sports supplements are legitimate ways for you to give your body the necessary conditions to enhance muscle regeneration and growth, without any of the side-effects of drugs.
Of course, it’s true that the supplements industry is riddled with dishonest brands and products, which can make it difficult to find something that really works. For this reason it is suggested that you stock with a trusted sports supplement company such as DNA Lean. There are also a number of substances that have clinically demonstrated to show real results, including:
- Whey and other forms of protein,
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (or BCAAs),
- Green Tea Extract,
- Coleus Forskohlii
- Antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E.
Especially if you suffer from a deficiency of either of these substances, taking the right sports supplement can immediately improve your muscle gain and training. Most importantly, all of these substances already exist in your body and are commonly found in a person’s every-day diet, which means that you don’t have to worry about jeopardizing your health or trading better performance in the near future with life-threatening health conditions in the long run.