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All you need to know about Supplements

Fitness has become a new thing. Now with this social media and everything, everyone wants to look good, everyone wants a lean physique with chiselled abs and all,
bodybuilding and going to the gym is no longer just a sport rather it has become a lifestyle, and with the countless number of gyms and fitness centres opening every day we can see how fast the trend is emerging and how fast the industry is growing.

Building a good physique is not an easy task it takes time, dedication and hard work but people always look for shortcuts and this shortcut can be very damaging and potentially life-threatening if taken mindlessly.

So to look like a Greek god or like one movie stars or fitness models you see on Instagram there are three things we need to focus 1st is our training that is resistance training and cardio 2nd is our diet a complete wholesome diet consisting of all the macro and micronutrients and 3rd is supplementation, even though it's not mandatory but it does make the job much easier as completing all the required macro and micronutrients which are needed to build a muscular lean physique through the food we are eating can be difficult and these is where supplements come handy, but many people have a wrong notion that it's only through the supplements that they can achieve a good physique and that is where they mess up, instead of focusing on their diet and training they start prioritizing supplements and this leads them to a slippery slope and may end up causing some permanent damage to their body.

Today we are going to talk about supplements, I have categorized supplements into two basic categories: Good supplements and Bad supplements good supplements are those which are basically made from natural substances and they are those supplements which our body need and are basically used to compensate for the imbalance in our diet or to give a boost to some macro and micronutrients which is present in our diet and is necessary to build a good physique and bad supplements are those which are artificial or synthetic substances which affects our body adversely or has no effect on our body and is just mindless wastage of money, a complete rip-off.

1st let us talk about some good supplements which a person who is interested in building a good physique can add to their diet but keeping in mind that these supplements will do no good if their diet and training is poor, supplements are only there to support your diet not replace it or substitute it.

Whey protein/Casein protein/plant protein powders: whey protein is one of the best supplements when we do resistance training or any athletic activity our body requires more protein to rebuild the muscle which gets damaged during the training. So having a scoop of whey protein powder as a shake or mixing it with your tasty oatmeal or porridge can really boost your protein intake moreover whey protein are a fast-absorbing and extremely lean source of protein which very low carbohydrate fats or sugars which provides an extra advantage.

Casein protein is similar to whey its also derived from milk but it’s a slower digesting protein its also a has its own benefit both whey and casein are complete source of protein and both are absorbed completely by our body.

For the vegan people who don’t eat dairy they can use plant protein powder but I would recommend pea protein or plant protein blend as plant protein sources are usually incomplete source of protein as they do not contain all the essential amino acids so using a blend of different plant protein will help complete the amino acid profile.

After multiple studies and being used by millions of people around whey/casein protein is found to have no side effects and is considered as a very high-quality source of protein making it one of the best supplements.

There are various animal protein too in the market but they are more expensive and their amino acid profile is not good enough when compared to whey or casein so I wouldn’t recommend them.

Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine is a substance found naturally in our cells which helps our muscle to produce energy during any intense activity, creatine increase the ATP in our cells hence increasing performance, it also alter many cellular process in a positive way which leads to more muscle mass strength and recovery all in all creatine is the number 1 supplement to increase performance muscle mass and strength.

Some people might think that creatine must have side effect but the scientific evidence and literature says otherwise, It is one of the worlds most tested supplement and has an outstanding safety profile. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recently concluded, “There is no compelling scientific evidence that the short- or long-term use of creatine monohydrate has any detrimental effects”
Creatine monohydrate is cheap and easily available making it one of the best supplements available in the market.

Multivitamin and fish oils: The main purpose of a multivitamin capsule is to fill the nutritional gap in your diet and yes it is very important that we take a diet which is balanced and contains enough fruits and vegetables so that we can get most of our vitamins minerals and all the necessary micro nutrients through our diet but in today’s time its very difficult to maintain a diet complete enough to fulfil all all nutrient requirement more over due to crop rotation and various other factors our food lack various micro nutrients more over when we train to achieve a certain physique we have to avoid certain kinds of food and this may result in deficiency of various kind of micro nutrients so supplementing our diet with high quality multivitamin and fish oil will help us regarding this issue but it should be kept in mind that a poor diet with a multi vitamin is still a poor diet.Now talking about the bad supplements there a plenty of bad supplements in the market either they have little to no effect on our body companies just market them in such a way that they trick you into thinking that these things will give great results and you really need them but in reality they just want to make money or they are potentially dangerous and might cause adverse effects on your body and its not worth it.

Except the three supplements I mentioned above most of the supplements that are advertised fall into these categories and they lack enough scientific evidence and studies to support their claim. So whenever you buy any supplement I recommend you do your own research and only go for supplements which has scientific research and evidence to prove that they are safe and effective.

But today I am going to talk about two very bad supplement from which I would advise everyone to stay away.
1.    Fat burners: fat burners are nutritional supplements which claim that they will help you burn fats fast. These supplements contain a variety of ingredients like caffeine, green tea, carnitine, conjugated linoleic acid, chromium, kelp, and fucoxanthin. But we have to understand that healthy weight loss takes time and it involves being in a caloric deficit if a person is not in a caloric deficit no fat burner will magically make him loose fat and if a person is in a caloric deficit he will lose fats without even using any fat burner more over fats burners are loaded with stimulants and sometimes with artificial stimulants which can cause wide array of problems like headache, high blood pressure, insomnia, liver damage, anxiety and even heart attacks.
2.    Testosterone boosters and Anabolic steroids: well testosterone is male sex hormone and it is hugely responsible for muscle growth; testosterone also increases the level of growth hormone which helps us build more muscle.
1st talk about the natural testosterone boosters which are so widely marketed most of them do nothing to boost your testosterone level and even if some do, they increase in testosterone level is so little this would not have any impact on your muscular growth and this is a scientific fact.

I saved the worst for the last lets talk about Anabolic steroids or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AASs), these are synthetic version of testosterone these can build muscle and increase athletic performance, the effects are extra ordinary people build insane amount of muscle using ASS, some performance increasing ASS takes the athlete to superhuman level of strength and endurance(that is why its usage is banned across most of the sports) but people using ASS have to pay a huge price.

Some of the side effects are:

•    acne
•    fluid retention
•    difficulty or pain when urinating
•    enlarged male breasts, known as gynecomastia
•    increased red cell count
•    lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
•    hair growth or loss
•    low sperm count and infertility
•    changes in libido
•    Excessive hair growth in women
•    Deepening of the voice in women
•    Menstrual irregularities for women
•    Heart problems and stroke
And this is not where it ends incorrect usage can cause
•    fatal cardio vascular issues
•    sudden cardiac death and myocardial infarction
•    severe liver damage
•    osteoporosis or bone loss
•    shrinking of testicles
•    sterility
And most of the man who use ASS are fail to produce testosterone naturally ever again so they have stay on a small dosage of ASS for their entire life.
Usage of ASS causes various mental health issues too
•    severe mood swings
•    paranoia and delusions
•    impaired judgment
•    feelings of invincibility
•    mania and anger
•    addiction
•    restlessness
•    depression
•    insomnia
•    reduced sex drive etc
Anabolic steroids have number of damaging effects both physically and mentally and can potentially kill you which make anabolic steroids the worst supplement and recommend everyone to stay from it
These shortcuts to looking good and increasing performance will destroy your life, might kill you even it’s a risk not worth taking where as sticking to long route and working hard with proper training and diet will give you the physique of your dream which will be sustainable and in turn improve your overall health and life.

- Hanif Mohammad

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