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Archive for December, 2013

Workout Supplements: Weighing Benefits vs. Side Effects

Workout Supplements: Weighing Benefits vs. Side Effects

The benefits of taking workout supplements are clear and proven: by increasing your body’s energy levels, you can workout longer and harder. You can recover more quickly. Your body can regenerate tissues rapidly for added strength and even added mass!

The one variable that comes with workout supplements are the side effects that they sometimes bring. Not everyone experiences side effects, but some people do.

That means there is the potential need to weigh the benefits of the supplements against the side effects that may be experienced. Let’s take a look at what you might be looking at if you’re starting to use workout supplements.


Any Supplement Can Provide a Negative Side Effect When Abused

The first consideration to make is that taking overdoses of a supplement won’t help your body go beyond its peak performance. You have a maximum that just can’t be exceeded!

When you take too much of a supplement, any supplement, there is a strong possibility that you’ll experience a negative side effect. You can even get diarrhea from just taking too much Vitamin C during the day!

For guys, one of the most popular workout supplements to take is a testosterone booster. Having higher levels of testosterone in the body can often lead to:

  • acne development,
  • hair loss,
  • enlargement of the prostate, and
  • atrophy of the testicles.

These side effects are most often associated with steroids and synthetic hormone boosters, but workout supplements can provide these as side effects to a lesser extent as well. The other issue to consider is that if you’re taking a supplement to create more free testosterone, your body could decide to convert this into estrogen instead, which creates a whole new set of problems.

What About Supplements That Increase Energy?

From creatine to caffeine, one of the key components of a good workout is to have the right amount of energy to complete it. These energy creation supplements can stimulate the body to have additional energy, but some people may experience a shortness of breath, heart palpitations, tremors, and higher blood pressure. These work because they affect the adrenal glands and increase the amount of adrenaline that your body produces in a short-term period.

With creatine and caffeine especially, there are also side effects associated with them that are related to dehydration. Stimulants also work to purge water from your body, so if you’re not rehydrating yourself appropriately, you can develop muscle cramps, unusual fatigue, stomach cramps, and nausea. Whenever you take a stimulant, especially in a high dose, try to drink at least 16 ounces of water with it to reduce the risks of these side effects.

Although there can be side effects, many of them are brief, temporary, and considered by many to be worthwhile because of the benefits that they receive in a workout. Only you know your body and only you can determine the levels of stress that can be endured. Take workout supplements based on their instructions, evaluate your body’s reaction to them, and if side effects become bothersome you can limit their use. The benefits often outweigh the side effects – but that’s a choice you’ve got to make.