Working out in the gym is a passion for many. Exercising regularly, as we all know is good for health, also provides a feel-good factor to people after workouts. During this process, some resort to trying various health supplements, diets and advice pertaining to the same. Desperation, overzealousness, aspiration for over-night results, peer pressure and unrealistic expectations may drive an individual to try various ‘body building products’.
Various gym products sold online, and over-the-counter, ‘prescribed’ by gym staff and recommended by friends or gym colleagues may contain a cocktail of substances including testosterone and other androgens, aromatase inhibitors, HCG, phosphodiesterase inhibitors etc. These are commonly called with a variety of names by the users, namely body building products, muscle building substances, anabolic steroids and anabolic drugs. Some abuse growth hormone for similar reasons.
While these products may not serve the purpose for which they are taken, they can cause serious damage to the body. Such adverse effects include, suppression of natural testosterone axis in the body, abnormal breast growth in men called gynaecomastia, high cholesterol levels leading to heart attacks and brain strokes, liver and kidney damage, heart problems, abnormal clotting tendencies, lowering of good cholesterol, short stature in teenagers, infections, elevated blood glucose, acne, greasy skin, low sperm counts in men, masculinisation of women and problems in sex life.
Psychological disturbances and dependence are also common with such products that contain the abovementioned substances. Speaking specifically about women, they can develop male pattern voice, hair fall on scalp, excess facial and body hair, acne, oily skin, infertility issues and menstrual irregularities.
Instead of resorting to using these health supplements and spending a fortune on them, one could instead use naturally available products which are rich in protein such as nuts, egg white, fish and chicken along with fruits and vegetables and build up one’s muscle and strength the natural way. These natural substances are readily available for a lesser cost and include a good source of essential nutrients and proteins which offer a more holistic way of taking care of one’s nutritional needs.
It is strongly advised to stay away from gym supplement products unless one is absolutely sure that both the product and the advice they have received is absolutely safe, fool-proof and authentic. Some of these body building products are too high in protein content and could damage the kidneys forever. Also, it is worth remembering that any such advice should be person-specific as “one size does not fit all”.