Are Supplements Safe? 6 Myths about Supplements Busted

Myths and facts about supplements

Myth 1: “Supplements have steroids”

This has to be the biggest myth of them all. International supplement companies have
millions of users who range from experienced lifters, international sportsmen and
athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This ensures that they have a reputation to protect.
They’re R and D budgets push them into not cutting corners and coming out with the
very best products. Also, organizations like the FDA keeps a close eye on them for
any irregularities. The same, however cannot be said about Indian manufacturers. Lax
laws and no regulatory structure gives them an easy way to sell products mixed with
steroids and other drugs.
The problem is compounded by the fact that a thriving industry exists in India to fake
the supplements of the international companies. Thus, just like buying the original
branded bag or perfume, the customer has to be wary enough and must insist buying
only from genuine sources.

Why does one need supplements?

Supplements, as the name suggests is a way to complete the bodily requirements of
macro and micro nutrients. Due to busy lifestyles, need of nutrients going up due to
a fitness lifestyle etc, a person may be unable to complete the recommended daily
intakes. This necessitates the use of supplements.

For instance, a person who adopts a sedentary lifestyle might need only .8 gms of
protein a day per kg. of bodyweight. On the other hand, a person who chooses to do
resistance training or exercises regularly will need approximately 1.5 to 2 gms of
protein a day. This difference in intake would optimally be fulfilled from first class
sources of protein i.e. lean meats, cottage cheese or milk. In the advent that one is
unable to complete these requirements, he may choose protein supplements.
It becomes even more challenging for vegetarians, since they have only milk and milk
derivates to rely on for first class sources of protein.

What are supplements made from?

Protein supplements like whey and casein are made from milk. Casein is infact
cottage cheese, and whey is derived from the water that forms while preparing cottage
cheese.

Then why not just drink milk?

The quality of protein in milk is very good but the quantity per glass of milk is low
& so to get the requisite amount of protein from milk you have to consume lots of
other unwanted components of milk, not to mention the unnecessary calories. Hence
the solution is EXTRACTION. Whey protein powder is nothing but a concentrated
source of protein derived & extracted from milk. Having supplements is similar to
having packaged fruit juice. You do it because you like juice, but buying fruits and
extracting juice is a painful and inconvenient process.

Myth 2: Supplements are not safe.
Supplements are meant to complete the recommended daily intake of individuals
having a fitness oriented lifestyle. Provided they are taken in correct dosages, and
under proof of authenticity, they are safe with no proven side-effects. Only drugs have
side effects, supplements don’t.

Myth 3: You should build your body with natural products. Only losers use
supplements.

Supplementation does not guarantee a rounded physique. Exercise coupled with the
right nutrition does. Hence none can exist in isolation.
Supplement is purely meant to complete nutritional requirements and hence
consuming them helps one to reach their full potential in development of skeletal
muscle.

Excess of protein does have side effects. Excess of anything including water has side
effects. Hence the recommended daily intake comes in

Myth 4: Doctors say not to go for supplements.
Doctors are usually skilled in their own fields and perform miraculous feats in their
area of expertise. Beyond that, their views are just like any one of us.. mere opinions.
Just imagine asking a heart surgeon about psychiatry. Any qualified sports nutritionist
would recommend these products. You would not find any top level athlete in the
world, who would not be equipped with these supplements.

Doctors are correct when they ask you to not go in for steroids or hormone boosters
because they are drugs and drugs should not be consumed without supervision.
Doctors are usually skilled in their own fields and perform miraculous feats in their
area of expertise. Beyond that, their views are just like any one of us. This is industry
is plagued with misinformation and confusion between supplements and drugs as so
are some doctors.

Myth 5: If I stop using products, I will go fat, or any other side effects.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, supplements comprise of macro or micro nutrients.
Once you stop using them, you’re body will merely stop getting those nutrients. You
can’t grow fat due to the stop of these products. What happens on most occasions is
that a person stops these supplements due to stop of any exercise, goes on a bad diet
meant to make him fat in the first case and ends up blaming the poor supps.

Myth 6: If I start having these products, I can never stop.
Since no studies have been able to link protein, creatine or glutamine supplementation
with any long term side effects.. it hardly makes sense for a person to stop with the
supplementation in any case. With the recommended daily intake in place, a person
can lead a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
It has to be known that these products have no ingredient which is addictive, in
contrast with coffee, tea, alcohol or tobacco. So a person can easily stop having
supplements if he wants to.

Other questions

Can supplements have an overall positive effect on the nation’s health?
India, for a country which houses twenty percent of the world population, hardly
creates ripples when it comes to most international sports. Poor dietary habits ensure
that India might continue in the same vein. As already documented, first class sources
of protein are lean meats and derivatives of milk i.e whey and casein. For a largely
vegetarian population, not getting the requisite protein intake ensures that they are
unable to develop their bodies and hence unable to meet their potential.
The many myths floating around supplements, based on heresay rather than scientific
fact only compounds the problem.

There is no doubt that intake of first classes sources of protein combined with
scientific designing of diets and exercise regimes will throw many Indians in the
world stream and make some of the best sportsmen in the world.

Alongside, for fitness enthusiasts, they too armed with scientific knowledge about
diets and ways to meet its requirements will become fitter and reverse the alarming
trends towards obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle related disorders.

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