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Pros and Cons of Sports Supplements

Bodybuilding nutrition supplements and chemistry

Supplements are very helpful in healing muscle soreness, developing muscle, and being healthy while also maintaining a constant exercise routine.

This article will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using various sports supplements already available in the market. Dealing with all the supplements is quite difficult. Much evidence is present in this in order to support the information provided to be true.

Many supplements can be utilized for those who need to benefit from a supplement for exercising even though people greatly enjoy the supplement like protein powders that helps in post-workout recovery. 

The information given here is for those in training and also for those starting training. Supplements help in improving strength, reducing recovery time, and forming good health. Being aware of what is being used in supplements helps in increasing safety while using it. 

Sports nutrition supplements beneficial for

Sports drinks are formed so they can be used wherever is necessary. 

So to retain the benefits obtained from running, it is crucial that the right drink is chosen to be used at the correct time to gain maximum benefits, like for example: 

·        Hydration drinks

The electrolytes, minerals, and salts lost in exercise can be maintained by using it, providing optimum fluid levels. They also contain a small quantity of carbohydrates for an energy boost and also used as a fluid replacement while exercising. 

·        Fast-release energy drinks

These are made up of syrup or glucose and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream (also by working muscles). As they show quick effect, therefore, these are ideally used for maintaining a good level of energy. It is easy to use while biking, running, or in between a session. 

·        Slow-release energy drinks

It is similar to having a pasta meal contained within a bottle, these slow energy release drinks consist of maltodextrin, which is a complex carbohydrate that slowly goes into the bloodstream and retains energy levels for a longer duration while running. It is best to use before starting exercise so energy levels are maintained during competition or training, or after exercise to supplement food. 

·        Energy drinks

It is present with both slow and fast-release energy (usually glucose and maltodextrin), can be used at any time (before, after, or while running) as it rapidly gives an energy boost and maintains this energy level. 

Recovery drinks. Same as combination drinks but protein is also present, which helps in cell rebuilding processes usually required after exercise. The drinks can be combined with milk periodically to obtain better protein quality and improvement in running. 

·        Energy gels

It is better used while exercising and are often used by long-distance runners and cyclists as the packets are tiny, lightweight, and transportable by keeping in pockets. An energy gel is majorly consisting of a sachet of maximum energy and needs to be used correctly to acquire full benefits. After using gel, about 250 ml of water is required to prevent dehydration. If water intake is not kept up, the gel in the stomach is diluted by drawing out fluid from the body, also leading to dehydration. 

·        Energy bars

While exercising, bars like solid food is usually avoided as it is not practical to chew and run, and eating while working out can be an unpleasant experience. The only exception here are cyclists, as they remain seated for longer times, they can eat and be active at the same time. Instant, slow-release, combination, or recovery fuel is provided by energy bars before or after exercise. Their flexibility is why they are famous among runners, and used more often than drinks or gels. 

Pros of sport supplements 

1.     Rich in Proteins

Protein is one of the most essential elements for muscle mass in the body. Protein contains abundant amino acids and they are the basis of making mass in human bodies.

Talking of athletes, it is highly recommended for them to take protein in their diet mostly in the form of soya or egg whites. As egg whites are the natural best source of protein and they are easy to take in your diet as well.

However, other than food sources, protein needs can be compensated with the help of supplements. Protein supplements are available in the form of tablets and powder for athletes and sports persons. 

2.     Rich in Creatine

Creatine is present in the human body and it is a naturally occurring compound. Being a great source of energy, it is highly suggested for the athletes to use it as an energy and performance booster.

It gives instant energy to the person, that’s why sports people are recommended to consume it to give them an instant boost. High physical activities require more energy and boost; hence creatine use can make tough activities more efficient. 

It is quite easy to take. You just need to mix it in a glass of water or other liquid preferably in the morning. 

3.     Rich in Vitamins 

Other than a natural food source, vitamin deficiency can be fulfilled by the supplements available for them.

Supplements are highly recommended to make up for any kind of deficiency in the body. 

4.     Fish Oil

The body gets used to the stress when the load is increased and extra stress is put on the body during activity. After exercise, the muscles recover easily within 48-72 hours time mostly. Joints also undergo stress while exercising.

The Joint serves as an axis around which the muscles of the body move. Joint is axis and lever as arm serves as insertion and origin points of muscles. The coating that is stressed in joints is Articular cartilage (synovial joints) while exercising.

Joints have no direct access to blood flow to cartilage, but a coating containing encapsulating fluids called the bursa keeping the joint safe. While exercising, the pressure gradients exerted on joints allows the waste to depart and nutrients to enter.

In short, the cartilage on the joint is kept healthy from the removal and entrance of beneficial substances. Excess weight involving exercise put more pressure on joints.

Providing the synovial joints with good nutrients helps articular cartilage to be better protected. 


Cons of Sports Supplements 

1.     No regulation by the FDA 

One of the major drawbacks found in these supplements is that, they are not regulated by FDA (Food and Drug Administration), that’s why they are known as ‘dietary supplements.

FDA does not take any charge of these dietary supplements. Many brands have been using harmful and unknown chemicals in these supplements as well and they do not even label them which is contradictory to the guidelines given by FDA.

2.     Harmful chemicals and ingredients such as synthetic food dyes

Supplements are not naturally occurring compounds; hence they can cause some harmful effects on your body. Food dye has been used in supplements for a long time which is not good for the human body.

Many studies have supported this. One study by FDA called “Southampton Study” conducted in 2014 concluded that the use of synthetic food dyes and preservatives led to unpleasant behavioral changes in 3 years old children.

In one study by FDA, it was indicated that lesser ADHD was associated with lesser use of food dye in the diet of children. Many other studies other than done by FDA have also supported this.

There are plenty of other substances found in supplements that can be harmful if taken in large doses. Most of the chemicals are added in lesser amounts but multiple doses in a day of such supplements can cause harmful effects. 

3.     Harmful for kidneys and liver 

If you keep adding such supplements as; creatine, BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), and other protein supplements into your bloodstream, it can produce adverse effects on your kidney and liver functioning.

Normally the creatine breaks down into creatinine which happens naturally. Then it is filtered through your kidney to leave your body via urine.

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