Protect Your Muscles, Avoid These Supplements
Supplements can help reach your fitness goals, but many of the supplements you’ll see on the market can cause more harm than good. If you’re taking several supplements to help aid you in achieving the desired physique, it may be worth it to examine each of them. While some will do more harm than good, certain types are perfectly safe and can even soften the blow of negative side effects from other supplements.
It is possible that some of the supplements you are taking to help with your fitness goals could actually be doing more harm than good. Here are a few supplements to avoid when getting fit:
The name sounds harmless enough, but this amino acid can lead to some serious side effects. Overdosing on L-carnitine can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures, brain disorders, heart problems, and liver damage. Another potential danger of L-carnitine is that it has been known to cause muscle tissue damage in certain groups of people, including high-level athletes.
This amino acid is touted as being able to do everything from enhancing growth hormone production to boosting nitric oxide levels in the body. But research has consistently shown that it is ineffective for building muscle or burning fat, and it has even been linked to elevated liver enzymes and intra-abdominal fat storage.
This supplement may help relieve anxiety and increase relaxation, but it could be doing damage to your liver. While kava may be useful for reducing stress and improving sleep, according to a report by the American Journal of Medicine, dozens of cases of serious liver damage were linked to the use of this supplement.
Ephedra has been banned by the FDA, but some unscrupulous companies still market it as a weight loss aid due to its stimulant properties. However, the dangers associated with ephedra are great because this supplement can cause high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and heart attacks.
Creatine is a popular bodybuilding supplement because it’s thought to increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue during exercise. However, some studies have shown that creatine can cause muscle stiffness, cramps, and nausea.
The kidneys process creatine, which can cause problems for those with kidney disease. Creatine may also interact with certain medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and cyclosporine.
If you’re considering taking a creatine supplement, talk to your doctor first.
These are anti-inflammatory drugs that can be prescribed by a doctor if someone has an autoimmune disease such as asthma. But athletes sometimes misuse them to enhance performance. The problem is that corticosteroids can have a catabolic effect that decreases muscle mass. They also suppress the immune system’s impact on overall health.
Diuretics get rid of water from the body and are commonly used in weight loss pills and pre-workout energy boosters because they increase metabolism and make users feel less bloated. However, diuretics also cause dehydration which can lead to cramping and fatigue. And if you’re using diuretics to speed up weight loss before an event — like a competition — know that the initial weight loss is extremely temporary because it’s mostly water weight.
The one supplement that you should take interest in health, is a whole food. Whole foods are foods that exist in the natural or minimally processed state. Some examples include greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. These give your body what it needs to ward off disease, kick-start weight loss, and maintain a healthy weight. If you want to lose weight and be healthy then whole foods are the way to go!